Our journey into the world of 3D Printing continues today with Nanci Hardwick, CEO of MELD Manufacturing Corporation—Last year, MELD was voted the Most Disruptive New Technology Award at the R&D 100 awards.
3D Printing includes a variety of techniques and processes, each with their own advantages and each best suited for a different use. (You can learn about several of these technologies in the first episode of this miniseries, with 3DHub's Ben Redwood.) So what makes MELD unique, and what is it best suited for? Nanci argues that MELD offers two key advantages: its ability to produce large-size parts and seond, the fact that MELD machines can operate out in the field, not just in a controlled environment.
MELD machines are not what you would use to print the nifty, intricate, paper-weight sized metal objects that you often get handed if you visit a 3D printing shop. No, MELD comes into its own with big parts like a 30-feet long tractor-trailer rail. Other 3D printing companies we have interviewed on our show say that they can reach large scale thanks to the speed of their machine. When they say “scale”, they mean the large number of parts they can print in an hour or in a day. When MELD boasts about scale, they talk about the actual size of an individual part—though it can’t print an entire spaceship yet…
We also discuss with Nanci how additive manufacturing—3D printing, that is—will change our lives, and why you should encourage your children to pursue interdisciplinary passions. Nanci’s vision of the future was truly inspiring.
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