Imagine making your own brackets, fittings and custom cases for your AGRR company—all from the comfort from your office. Florida-based SuperGlass Windshield Repair manufacturers some of these very items in-house with a 3-D printer.
These devices are making a big splash. 3-D printers were one of the hottest items on display at the Las Vegas International Consumer Electronics Show this week. Last year, only a handful was featured, while this year, organizers had to turn companies away due to not enough space. More than 30 companies put their printing wares on display, showing off everything from edible, origami-like sculptures to jewelry and even a mechanical hand, according to a local report.
So if 3-D printers can do all this, why can’t they be put to good use in the AGRR industry? This is just the question that David Casey, president of SuperGlass Windshield Repair, asked himself.
“So far we have made brackets, fittings and custom cases with the 3-D printer,” he says. “We draw up our own plans, transfer them to the computer, create 3-D drawings and then print them out. It’s pretty quick to be able to print a prototype, make changes for fit or other reasons, then print another the same day.”
This means no more waiting for machine shops.
For now, Casey is not comfortable releasing photos of the tools his company has made because the idea is so new, but he feels the concept of using 3-D printers to enhance businesses should be shared.
His company’s printer was custom built through RepRap. The material you use to print with can be expensive, Casey notes. Sean Casey heads up the project and serves as the company’s information systems’ director.
“My thought is that the windshield repair industry can use 3-D printers, leveraging some leading-edge technology to advance the tools and industry. Maybe others can follow the same idea and we will see a boom in innovation,” he says.
Now, if you can think up a new tool, it can soon be held in your hand.
“The future of this is beyond my meager imagination,” Casey says.
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