Who are we and why does it matter?
In 2014 I had a chance discussion with a group from Imperial Machine & Tool Co. about the downfalls of Additive Manufacturing (AM) and I mentioned a potential solution.
In Part I, a meeting of the minds was mentioned. This was a follow up to our original discussion and was primarily between myself and a gentleman I had just recently met, Christian M. Joest.
You see, at the time I was only 20 years old and surrounded by veterans in the Additive Manufacturing (AM) space both academically and professionally. Young minds often have a tendency to reject the status quo and naturally that's what had led me to start my own company Solid Dyanmics, LLC.
When operating Solid Dynamics and after purchasing tens of thousands of dollars in 3D-Printers, I came to the conclusion that 3D-Printing wasn't remotely ready to be an affordable method for the mass production I had always dreamt of. At the time my team was operating 30 polymer AM systems and it was nearly impossible to keep all 30 running simultaneously without having a dedicated operator per machine.
That's when I had originally drafted out the idea for a 3D-Printer that could perceive what was happening in real-time during the manufacturing process and compare what was being printed to the digital 3D model and intelligently determine discrepancies in-process. This concept was an automated version of the mental process my operators would go through when baby-sitting our 3D-Printers. A solution such as this would effectively make a 3D-Printer "smart" and enable a single operator to run a factory of Additive Manufacturing equipment.
In that meeting I described this solution in detail and how it could be incorporated across both my own 3D-Printers at Solid Dynamics but also the metal AM systems Imperial Machine and Tool Co. had purchased for millions of dollars. Chris and I discussed a path forward and shortly after, Solid Innovations, LLC was born.
I consider my self lucky for being able to have that meeting with Chris. Lucky not because I was able to have a face to face discussion about my vision with a leader in the Additive field but rather because I had a discussion with someone who understood the true meaning of quality and scalability.
Chris is at the helm of Imperial Machine & Tool Co., an Advanced Manufacturing company founded in 1943 by his grandfather. Imperial focuses on tackling the most challenging and difficult projects in industry, and provides the highest levels of quality and customer service.
Some of their specialties include precision CNC machining, metal additive manufacturing (metal 3D printing), refractory metal working, precision welding, custom vacuum equipment and much more. To learn more about Imperial journey and Chris' outlook, click here.
I am eternally grateful to Chris as well as his son Christian for their generosity in allowing me to execute my vision.
What happens when you combine the rebellious spirit of youth, the foresight that comes with wisdom and a few fed up technologists? A potent team of industrialist hell bent on innovating their way to success.
Solid Innovations, LLC has just that team.
- Joseph M. Sinclair
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