Merit3D, a leading additive manufacturing company in Southeastern Utah, was able to 3D print 60,000 parts in under eight hours, setting a record for 3D printing, last February. The record was achieved using Magna 3D printers for high speed photopolymerization technology by Photocentric.
Manufacturing today is a roughly $12 trillion industry that largely takes place in China. 3D printing has disrupted the industry by allowing manufacturers to skip the injection molding process and go directly to production as well as bringing the process back to the USA. However, mass production with 3D printing has proven challenging. Merit3D hopes to overcome this challenge and bring manufacturing to the top of the list of industries in Southeastern Utah.
“When we started exploring 3D Printing, we decided we had to meet the goals to make it into a viable business. We had to be cost-effective, have the right quality and the right scalability,” said Spencer Loveless, Merit3D CEO. “Completing 60,000 prints in under eight hours proves that we have the right scalability. The lessons we learned when we encountered issues during that eight hours were instrumental in streamlining our processes even further.”
The 60,000 pieces printed in under eight hours were side-release buckles for another Price, UT company, Alaska Guide Creations. Alaska Guide Creations is an authorized high-quality outdoor optics dealer and accessory manufacturer, producing packs for binoculars and other hunting tools and accessories.
Zac Jones, co-owner of Alaska Guide Creations, said, “We struggled to find a side-release buckle that would fit our needs with the tethers on our binocular pack. There just wasn’t anything out there we liked, so we designed our own custom hardware, which eliminated the need for an SR buckle. Before 3D printing, the only option to mass-produce something like that was injection molding, which takes months and you’d better have the design right the first time. We were able to go back and forth with Merit3D on multiple iterations within a single week. That is an invaluable attribute of 3D printing.”
As the pieces were printed in the Merit3D facility on Jan. 25, the company invited many local officials and business owners to come and witness the feat and talk about what bringing manufacturing to Southeastern Utah could do for the area’s wanting economy.
“Carbon County was founded on coal, that’s where it got its name, ‘Carbon’. Today, there is no coal being mined in Carbon County and that’s real. We have to keep the wheels moving for an industry like this that’s going to be sustainable in our community.” stated Price City Mayor Michael Kourianos. “You are bringing technical expertise to our community that can be used worldwide and that’s phenomenal. You are developing a career path that gives people hope and a clear vision.”
Using Photocentric’s Magna 3D printers, Merit3D is constantly innovating to meet the demand of its broad customer base. One of its latest endeavors is electroplating 3D prints, adding strength and other properties of metal to plastic parts.