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3D Printing at CleanO2

Date: 10th August 2017

 

Additive Manufacturing

For aspiring technology companies, the 3D printer is a major tool that can help cut costs in the early stages of a Startup and that is exactly what is happening at CleanO2. When additive manufacturing (technical term for 3D Printers)  were first introduced, most people couldn’t wrap their heads around the concept of a printer manufacturing parts made from plastic, metal or another type of resin. Traditional manufacturing of parts was similar to how a sculptor works. A sculptor has a solid block of marble and chips away until their masterpiece is revealed. The 3D printer is the opposite; it adds a liquid resin to form layers until the desired specs (programmed via a computer) are achieved.

Why are we writing a blog about 3D Printers? Recently I had a conversation with a few people that had an issue with our company using this technology to manufacture plastic brackets needed for our CARBiNX units. Their concern was that by producing parts with 3D printers, we are essentially taking away work that a machine shop can do. There is no doubt that advancement of technology in various fields is replacing people in the labour force. However, as a startup tech company in the carbon capture industry, 3D printers saves us time and money, both of which are in limited supply. In developing the above mentioned plastic bracket, our team had to go through 2-3 different design specs before achieving the right fit. Having a machine shop produce the first two pieces and not having them work, would have been too costly. It’s also important to note, that before deciding on 3D printers as a solution, we did our due diligence and got cost estimates from various machine shops.

Funding is hard to come by and when it does, the team at CleanO2 want to ensure investors that capital is spent wisely. Currently we’re manufacturing 4 CARBiNX units and our two 3D printers are creating many of the plastic parts needed. For now, the additive manufacturing is meeting our needs for production. As our company grows and more CARBiNX units need to be manufactured, the 3D printers will not be able to produce the volume of parts needed to meet deadlines. At that point, we may have to have a mould created and have a machine shop produce the parts for us. The bottom line is, any Startup company needs to spend their time and money wisely, and we’re no different. And as aspiring leaders in carbon capture technology, CleanO2 is always looking to utilize other cutting edge technology to advance our CARBiNX units.

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