Christmas in July at re:3D

We had to fill up all this new office space with something, right?!

Shiny new toys abound in Houston. Joining our Tormach PCNC1100 on the production line is the Hurco VM30i CNC, which our manufacturing team is thrilled about.

It truly is Christmas in July at re:3D!

The New re:3D Digs

You may have heard the word on the street: re:3D has upgraded to a bigger, badder office space in Houston.

We outgrew our old spot some time ago and have been biding our time waiting for the right place to relocate Houston production and operations. The wait paid off: the new digs are just down the street from our previous spot, and the ample space is a much-needed upgrade from the nest we had grown too big for.

We know everyone is dying to know the exciting, nitty-gritty details of this new office (sarcasm), so without further ado: the exciting, nitty-gritty details of our new office!

The biggest difference is the physical space. The Houston team is overjoyed to have some much-needed elbow room and private desks. We’ve now got over 2.5x more space – a big bump from 2,600 square feet to just over 7,000.

You may have seen our photo a few weeks ago of some slick-looking doorstops we printed – they’re coming in handy with the 17 extra doors we’re dealing with.

More shelving means more inventory means less running out of popular filament means less waiting for you! We’ve got 2.2x more shelf space – somewhere around 85 linear feet.

Our previous office didn’t have any dedicated rooms for education, training, and research – that’s changing. The new space will come in handy for R&D projects, workshops, and on-site training at our facility.

The crown jewel of the office, however, is right at the front door – the area we’re calling “The Showroom.” The entire front wall of our new space is windows – 90 feet of them – where we’ll be showcasing bots and interesting applications of Gigabot.

We hope to see some of you in person once we’re fully up and running for the public!

 

 

Lessons Learned from Starting a 3D Printing Business

We’ve made it to the final post in Darrel Barnette’s series about the 3D printing company he started, Digital to Definitive. In this final video, Darrel shares the biggest lessons he’s learned as a new small-business owner and as someone who’d never done it before.

Darrel had no previous experience starting, running, or even working for a business in the realm of what he built. His career had been big companies, government, and universities – very much a different environment from what he found himself in with Digital to Definitive.

The lessons he’s learned have been invaluable: educating your clients on 3D printing is necessary for better project outcomes, 3D printing can be a finicky technology and isn’t always perfect, and most importantly, relationship-building — before you embark on starting your own business — is crucial.

The whole process has been a journey and learning experience, Darrel says. But for him, the long hours and late nights are worth it.

Have you thought about building your own 3D printing business from the ground up? Let Darrel give you a taste of what it’s been like and see if it might be for you.

Hair Dressing the World’s Biggest Hairy Lion Print

The Hairy Lion print is somewhat of a legend in the 3D printing community. It’s a fun one to do, in major part due to the fact that the mane portion of the print can be “styled” after printing using a hair dryer or heat gun.

So obviously we had to get in on the fun and blow the competition out of the water with the biggest hairy lion print — as far as we know — to date.

Download the file from Thingiverse and print it yourself!

Here are the specs of ours, if you’re up for the challenge:

Print time: 46 hours
Layer height: 0.6mm w/ 0.8mm nozzle
Infill: 9%
Material: PLA
Height: 22″ tall
Weight: 14.4 lbs before post-processing ; 10.2 lbs after post-processing
 

Gigabot Mods & the Open-Source Movement

If you’ve been following along with the Digital to Definitive Story thus far, you may have noted to yourself that Darrel Barnette’s Gigabot looks a little different than the rest. You’re not imagining it – he has modified the heck out of his bot.

And that’s what we like to see! From the start, we’ve been committed to keeping our products open-source, our parts transparent, and our designs un-patented. Our goal is to encourage Gigabot owners to customize their bots to their needs, and from this, our engineers get to learn what’s important to our community and add priorities to our R&D pipeline. We have users who have added webcams, remote printing capabilities, full enclosures… And then there’s Darrel.

He was an early Kickstarter backer – an engineer with a natural affinity for tinkering and experimenting – and those skills were put to work with his first-gen Gigabot.

We’ll let Darrel take you through the modifications he’s made to his bot and why he did them.

This 3D Printing Story Will Blow You Away

We find ourselves now at the third and final leg of the stool making up Darrel Barnette’s business: contract 3D printing for other people/businesses (non-governmental contracts).

He describes it as being rewarding work, because it’s where he gets to give back to others in the form of his 3D printing skills that he’s spent the last several years honing.

Darrel’s first contract printing job as Digital to Definitive was for a group of engineering students at the University of Central Florida who had found themselves in a pickle. They needed a physical prototype of their [spoiler alert] vertical axis wind turbine (the clickbait title should make sense now), hadn’t had luck finding anyone with a 3D printer large enough to take on the job, and had exhausted their own attempts to build a working model.

Darrel came to the rescue, printing the three blades of their turbine all at the same time, standing them up on his Gigabot’s bed to print in one piece.

We don’t want to spoil too many surprises for you, but the project was a success. Check out the video to hear Darrel’s take on this win-win situation.