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Materials, Processes, Case Studies and more

Welcome to 3D From Nothing Powered by Metalmite, the Show where you will learn all about 3-D printing and additive technology, and I am your host, Tom Gendich.

Metalmite is a full-service machine shop that specializes in 5 and 6 axis CNC machining, CNC grinding, Wire EDM and 3D Printing. We are a 50 plus year old corporation started by my father, Michael Gendich the Third. I took over as CEO in 2009 and am continuing the manufacturing legacy as a third-generation owner.

In these programs you will learn what kinds of printers are out there and what kind of materials you can print on. Who is using these printers, what kinds of things should you be looking at printing. As well as hearing form experts in the field through interviews we will be conducting. And, as always you can go to our website 3-Dfrom can get free giveaways and learn more about what we’re doing and how the name comes from my father he said at some point will make parts out of nothing – and today we are doing just that with 3D Printing and additive technology.

Welcome to the very first episode of 3d from nothing powered by Metalmite. We’re so excited to finally be on the airwaves. We’ve talked about this show for months and we’ve been a manufacturing facility for well over 53 years located just North of Detroit. And we’ve gotten into additive manufacturing now over 20 years ago.

Our first ever experience with it was S L S selective laser centering. We’ll get into the acronyms and the different types of printing later. But back 20 years ago, we had a need and we found a local company and we were able to use it. We fell in love with the concept, and that’s what started out our show 3d from nothing as we mentioned in the intro, the name comes from my dad saying that someday we’d make parts out of nothing.

I’m so glad to honor him as we lost him a few years ago, and he’s no longer with us. We live on his legacy and we’re excited with what we can bring to the table today.

We could spend an entire episode talking about my father, Michael Gendich, the third founder of metal, my second generation machine shop owner, third generation small business owner, his grandfather, Michael Gendich. The first owned a small country store outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And then his father moved to Detroit in the 1940s and started a manufacturing facility downtown just after world war II.

And then Michael himself started metal might in 1968. Michael was a left-handed. He was found out to be dyslexic late in his life and he was ADD. With the combination, it was phenomenal to see the way his mind worked. It was like no other, he could design things and come up with things and always find a way to do what no one else was able to do.

His company metal mite has continued that legacy today as our number one, referral comes from other machine shops and we’re able to do things that others are just not able to do.

We spend a lot of time at Metalmite talking about our just cause which leads to our vision, mission and core values are just cause here at metal, mine is to help create products that help people move in the direction they need to go. Our vision is to be the number one choice for our customers when they need good parts quickly, our mission is to turn our customer’s needs into reality better and faster than anyone else.

And our core values create the acronym pitch. P is passion. I for innovation T is teamwork. C is continuous improvement and H has honesty. We hire and fire based on these core values. Every employee exemplifies them and we find these to be the very foundation of what makes us who we are today. We’re excited to discuss those.

We have them on our company. T-shirts we have them on our literature. We talk about them with customers, vendors, and even what we call strategic partners. We find that people that share in these visions and these core values make excellent allies. As we have a very difficult job in front of us to create things that have never been created before.

As we promised earlier, we definitely want to talk about the types of materials and the types of 3d printers that are out on the market today in this additive manufacturing field, the types of materials you’ll find. You have nylon, you have a carbon fiber Mark forge has a proprietary product called Onyx, which has fiber filaments inside of it.

You can also print stainless steel, copper titanium, ink, canal, and tool steel. There are many other products. These are the main ones used here at metal mite and in some of our strategic partners. The different processes used for 3d printing have various acronyms. You’ve probably heard on the market.

We could probably spend an entire episode on each one of these, but the most popular stereolithography is S L a. This was the early form where they would take like a poxy and they would print out a. A physical form that was not very strong. You could crush it in your hand. As that technology got better, they got into a fused deposition modeling, which is F D M.

The other name on the market is fused. Filament fabrication or FFF sometimes FFF can also be filament free form fabrication. And this is a process using a continuous filament of a thermal plastic material. The filament is fed in the form of a large spool. The there’s a heated printer extruder head that moves back and forth in two directions.

While the plate travels downward in a third direction, it’s printed on a horizontal plane layer by layer. One sheet at a time, if you will. There’s also selective laser centering, which we mentioned earlier. This was the first technology metal might invest it in the best way to explain this. As, as a laser shooting into a bed of powder.

Also the plate travels down and you print one layer at a time and it’s sort of centering or fusing metal together to make their product. There’s also selective laser melting. Electron, which is S L M electron beam melting E B M laminated object manufacturing, L O M binder jetting, BJ material, jetting, MJ.

These are several of the forms that are out there today. Again, metal might use is predominantly the Markforged product with the FFF technology in both the plastics and the metals. We. Look forward to learning more about different technologies. And of course, as we have these different specialists on, in the interviews we’ll be conducting, we hope to bring more information to the table for you.

One of the first case studies I want to talk about is, is probably one of my very first experiences with. 3d printing additive technology. I think it was right around the year, 2000, 2001. So believe it or not, that was over 20 years ago now. We heard of a company in the area called linear mold and the owner of the company, his name was John 10 Bush, and I got ahold of him.

He answered the phone right away. We had a conversation and I said, I heard that he got some EOS machines or iOS machines as people call them, use a selective laser centering technology. I’d read about it a little bit. On the internet. And I heard that it was a powdered metal and laser beams shot in there and they make parts.

And we had a customer that was looking for some stainless steel printed parts took too long using the traditional subtractive manufacturing that a metal mites known for utilizing the five and six access machines we had. But they wanted to know if something can be printed and be aerospace approved using the selective laser centering.

So I called John 10 Bush. He and I met down at his place. He took me in and showed me his very first dos machine. And he had a mold company and what they would have his cavities and they would have to print the inserts and it would take. Weeks. And sometimes months to make these inserts, the subtractive way using sinker, EDM, and all sorts of things like that.

And he found with this EOS machine that he could simply go in there and print the part from nothing and save lots of time, lots of money. And the material approval. Wasn’t an issue. Obviously my challenge was a little stronger with aerospace. A material certification is extremely important as we have to go for DFAR compliant material NADCAP processing and all these things.

So I went with John and, and we looked at several of the things he was doing and he pulled out it looked like a chess piece. It looked like a I guess a Bishop or, or maybe a, a queen. And in the chest piece, I studied, it was made out of copper. He had printed it on his EOS machine and he said, what do you think?

And I said, Oh, it looks like, you know, a nice chest piece. And it had the, the, the castle Asians at the top, and it had some detail, some brick pattern around the outside. And he said, did you notice the staircase. And I said the staircase and I looked at the very bottom, there was a staircase entering into the cylinder, if you will, of this part and sort of disappearing.

And I said, Oh, it looks like you, you know, started a staircase. He said, no, he didn’t start a staircase. He said, there’s an internal spiral staircase throughout this entire part. And you can see it a little bit at the bottom a little bit at the top, but it twists and turns all the way up the cylinder from beginning to end.

And so as I studied it, I was just blown away. I said, that’s amazing. And he said, yeah, he said, that’s just showing you where 3d printing can make all the difference. He said, as you print one layer at a time, starting at the bottom, think of them as sheets of paper, you, you layer this thing up, anything can be happening on the inside.

And so then we walked on and he showed me some models of. A an engine, a complete engine, I think maybe a, a V6 engine where it had pistons and cylinders and a crank shaft and a cam shaft in the middle. And he showed me how the entire thing could be printed. From nothing from, from the ground up and the pistons and the Conrads and the crankshaft could all be assembled and running.

He pushed, you know I think maybe this was a simulation on a computer, but you push one piston. And the other ones all rotate around and the, and the Conrad’s are all connected. And I was, I was blown away right there. I w I said, this, this is definitely the future. The fact that you could make, not only a part, but an entire assembly, that’s operating simply from the ground up.

He gave me that little chest piece and it sat on my desk for, for probably another 10 years. And I talked to so many people about 3d printing. We did end up utilizing several partners and those times and got our customers parts they needed. We did a lot in the nylon world. There was some Companies that specialize in sort of a nylon six, six product.

And they would seal it with a sealer and we can use them for engine components and people prototyping high-performance vehicles and even military vehicles, things like that. So we utilized a lot of that. And then that’s when we finally decided to buy our own SLS machine and had that for several years here at metal might.

And now we’ve. Let it go and moved on to the Markforged products. As we talked about in the beginning because of the simplicity of changing from one material to the next and aerospace and military as definitely catching up to certifying the material, we’ve figured out ways to print a what they call a dog bone.

When we make any of the products, we can make another little dog bone at the same time and they can send that dog bone through testing for mechanical and chemical test results to know exactly what they’re getting in their product. So that’s one workaround that we’ve all figured out. But I, I want you to just try to picture with me if you will, that internal staircase and you start thinking about coolant holes and you think about wiring harnesses, and you start thinking about any of these products and parts where the subtractive manufacturing struggles to get in and around and up and down.

But when you, when you 3d print it, literally anything you can design can be printed. It’s, it’s amazing. The doors that it’s opened.

A couple of the case studies you’ll read about on the bottom of our [email protected] You’ll see a picture of an unmanned sub that the United States Navy printed. A very interesting story.

If you click on that.

The article I’ll, I’ll just kind of run through it a little bit for you here verbally, but you can, you can check it out yourself.

You’ve got a chance. It says the Navy recently unveiled the military’s first 3d printed submarine hall at the Oak Ridge national laboratory manufacturing demonstration facility. The optionally manned demonstrator is modeled after the seal delivery vehicle, which stays SDV. Okay. The seal delivery vehicle and their equipment is for special missions.

This laboratory is most notable for 3d printing. The world’s first car. They 3d printed a Shelby Cobra there. The hall of the submarines 30 feet long made of six carbon fiber composite sections. I just want to pause on that for a second. We’ve done several projects for customers as well, where the 3d printer may only be a certain envelope.

Most of our printers. Or about a, about a 12 inch cubed an envelope and a, a couple of people have come to us with larger parts and we have figured out ways to section that you can make a sort of a tongue and groove set up to bring them together. Or you can put dowel pins between ’em. Depends what the use and function is, of course, but in this particular example, they didn’t necessarily have a 30 foot long printer, but they made it in six sections to print the entire hall.

The project only took four weeks to complete and it cut production costs by 90%. So this last part is what’s really interesting. According to the department of energy, a traditional seal delivery vehicle costs between 600,000 and $800,000. It takes three to five months to manufacture one of these. So that means they made this prototype for as low as $60,000.

It was printed in a number of days. The total development time for the entire vehicle was four weeks. It only took a few days to print those six sections. So you can see, not only do we have a major cost savings, but we have the ability to do something that, that may not have even been possible. With former types of manufacturing, I’m guessing with these carbon fiber composite halls, they probably did some sort of mold and some sort of injection process to, to make these in the past.

One of the other articles

that’s linked with that is as you click again through our website and onto that is also about this new California startup that’s selling 3d printed carbon fiber E bikes. I know my, my brother and his family are really into e-bikes. These are different types of bikes that have an electrical component to them.

My brother has one that’s a pedal assist. So if you’re wanting to be lazy like me and just hit the throttle and motor along it, it won’t allow you, you have to actually peddle your feet a little bit and at least give the illusion that you’re pretending to participate in the activity. His daughter has a, a, another bike that is electronic as well, and they they’ve actually used them for commuting to work and back.

So Pretty impressed that they have a pretty lengthy commute. I think my brothers is about 18 miles each direction. So they get, they get to use out of it. Well, this this article here is about super strata. It’s a, a California startup. They now offer the world’s first made to measure 3d printed e-bike in addition to customize options to match the rider and their preferences and styles.

The bike will utilize a frame comprised of an impact resistant carbon fiber. So again as we use the carbon fiber technology many companies, are it the, the strength difference? I don’t have the exact number in front of me, but it’s something like four or five to one. There’s some demonstrations using a motorcycle clutch.

And if you print a standard polycarbonate or a standard nylon, you can, you can bend it almost like rubber. But you add a little bit of this carbon fiber to it. And it’s as rigid as a, as, almost as steel. So it’s amazing. Perhaps the most unique feature on the Super Strada is the ability to allow riders to customize the frame to their height, weight, arm, and leg length, almost like a custom fit suit here.

They can adjust it for riding positions frame stiffness, the company. Has over 500,000 different bike configurations that you could choose from a riding styles would include racing street, gravel, or touring styles. There are two different versions of this bike that will be made available in December.

The traditional terror or the electric ion model. The ion model has a two hour charge time and a range of over 55 miles. So there you go. My brother can make it to work and back with a, with one charge. These bikes will retail for around $2,799. The ion electric version is $3,999 per your orders will begin soon.

So again, we’re, we’re seeing things come to market now that just weren’t possible a couple of years ago, a fully customized bicycle. Even five years ago, I’m guessing would have been probably a year. You probably put your order in and wait a year before somebody could make it. And there’s probably no way they could do it.

Between two and $4,000, it probably takes a team making extrusion, dyes, and progressive dyes and all sorts of ways to form this bicycle. Around it. I’m looking at the photograph here as you’ll see it. If you check it out, the website, the rims on the, on the vehicle looked like their carbon fiber as well.

It doesn’t have a weight here, but I’m guessing it’s a very, very light bicycle. So again, we’re, we’re seeing that. I know recently we get, we get a chance at metal might to see some really unique parts. And recently we quoted on a few. That they tell us the intent is, is for some vehicles that be landing on Mars.

They’re going to be doing some farming. Apparently I don’t know if they were if they were serious or if it was based on this Matt Damon Marsh and movie, where he was growing some potatoes and using some interesting ways of fertilizing these potatoes. But we, we actually got a request for quote that these parts were, were part of a Mars landing vehicle and Again, experimenting with some different materials that we could 3d print.

So anywhere from a underwater to a riding bicycles to go into Mars, we can see 3d printing has opportunities for everybody. And I think the biggest. The, the two biggest allures for everybody is time and money. I think you save a lot of time. We offer a three-day turnaround as standard and the, and those can be extra.

The data we’ve done a few where somebody is ask for something at two or three o’clock in the afternoon and said they need to pick it up at 7:00 AM the next morning, take it to a meeting. And we were able to accompany the request and get that done. So that’s a, that’s a rarity. It’s gotta be a fairly small part.

But it can happen the the steel parts, especially in our metal X printers, they take a few days because that’s a three-step process. So we have to print it, put it in the wash and then put it in the centering oven and then and then give it to him so that we typically tell people five to seven days is what to expect on that.

But again for an ink Anelle stainless copper part, even tool steel. That’s not that long to wait. Metal might use to be priding itself for the two week turnaround. And that was exciting for everybody to get their parts in two weeks more and more as, as parts become complicated and need more services after machines such as the.

Plating and the phos coding and the passivation things end up growing more like six weeks for a standard turnaround. But again, 3d printing shortcuts, all of that by by weeks, not just days. So it’s a, it’s a great option. Okay.

Close this episode, we want to be sensitive to the time each episode we commit to be around 20, 25 minutes. We respect everybody’s time. We’re busy as well. So we want to keep these packed full of information and also short. So you can get back to your job if you need anything from us again. Please go to the website, 3d from

You’ll find all sorts of information and how to contact us there. And of course the top corner is get a quick quote. We’d be glad to help you out and see if we can get your project in your hands faster and better than anyone else.