By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
I became a believer in machinery for DDM (direct digital manufacturing) and rapid prototyping some 15 years ago when I made a pilgrimage to Stratasys HQ in Eden Prairie, MN, during the heart of a mid-February cold wave that had the locals grumbling. Now, this was the early days of rapid manufacturing, but it did not take a rocket scientist to see that this technology was going to change everything. And changing everything with DMM and rapid prototyping is the theme of today’s Check It Out.
Today’s Check It Out actually consists of two parts. The first is short case study on an outfit called Tape Wrangler in Traverse City, MI. The second part is a brief (26-minute) webinar broadcast featuring Wendy Steele, the CEO of Tape Wrangler. The two go hand-in-hand but, if you must skip one for time’s sake, go for the video, which you’ll find at the end of the case study. Here’s why.
Essentially, some folks from Tape Wrangler were attending a trade show when they came across a Stratasys Dimension demo. Instantly, they realized that adding a 3D printer to their in-house design shop would make them more agile and get rid of the costs and inefficiencies that are inherent when you outsource work to a third-party service bureau. So, they bought a Dimension 3D printer, and it helped them turn around some design ideas fast, ultimately leading to a big contract.
That’s the case study in a nutshell. It’s less than half the story. That’s where the webinar comes in.
In the webinar Ms. Steele gives you a few great things. One is entrepreneurship. They got an idea, ran with it, listened to feedback, and ran with it too. Then, she gives you numbers that make the most compelling case for DMM. Finally, Ms. Steele whacks you across the side of the head in a relaxed manner that makes what she says all the more compelling. She reminds us of something Henry Ford is reported to have said and uses it to put a wrap around what it is that we all know about rapid prototyping and DMM processes but, for whatever reason, has still not spurred everyone into action. Simply put, you pay for your inaction, or you can pay to get in on the action and then get paid. Your choice.
So, what we have for you here in today’s Check It Out is a good read for everyone. Then, you have a short video that’s great for designers, toolmakers, the VP of engineering, the CEO, the CFO, and anyone who wants to change everything at their company.
Your Check It Out offering today is a simple, elegant pair of informative presentations. Yet they are the most sobering that you’ve had in a good while. Hit the the link and, no doubt, you’ll agree with me when I say “well done, Stratasys Dimension."
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering