3D Printing Draws Local Interest

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) – Make a gadget, a widget, or an automobile frame!
The 3D printer is quickly coming into its own.
The futuristic devices were on display at Chattanooga’s Business Development center Friday along with experts to tell you how they will soon become part of your daily life.

This is one of the latest 3D printers and it was doing some impressive work Friday at the Business development center. A roomful of people ranging from manufacturers, to start-ups, to hobbyists were there to check them out at a seminar called 3D Printing Beyond The Hype.
And by the way—the technology is not new.

MELISSA RAGSDALE, PRES. 3D DIVISION, NOVACOPY "It is a technology that’s been around for about 31 years…It is, but we had an explosion over the last 3 years. The materials have come a long way..the equipment has come a long way…prices have come down..they’ve become more office friendly …a lot more interest in bringing the technology into businesses."

But there’s also a lot of misunderstanding of the 3D technology.

MELISSA RAGSDALE "It’s difficult for companies and individuals to really understand what the technology is ..how it works and how they can use it."

As president of NovaCopy 3D Division Melissa Ragsdale gets plenty of time with the printers.

MELISSA RAGSDALE "I can 3d print for any object in my home. Print iPhone cases,or Android phone cases….anything that I might normally go out top the store and buy I can 3D print them in my home now."

The printers range in price from about 200 dollars up to 2-million dollars for a device that can produce a product in titanium, stainless steel, or aluminum. Automobile manufacturers are looking closely at that.

But, on a smaller scale—how about 3D printed shoes?.

LUCY BEARD, CEO, FEETZ "The way we do it is to use an iPhone, download an app and we can get a 3d model of your foot just with 3 photos and a white sheet of paper….and its accurate within one to two millimeters..that’s less than half a size."

With 3D printers, the future is now.

Categories: Business, Consumer News, Local News, Technology

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