Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 13


JUSTIN COUTU | COLUMN BY

to get the printer to market and begin generating revenue weeks faster.

The Doorstop Analogy

Justin Coutu is President of R&D Technologies, North Kingstown,
RI. R&D Technologies is a reseller of the Stratasys line of 3-D printing
and rapid prototyping systems throughout New England, while also
serving as a service bureau for companies throughout the U.S. who
outsource their prototype printing. He can be reached at Justincoutu@rnd-tech.com. For more information visit www.rnd-tech.com

MARCH/APRIL 2016 manufacturing-today.com

13

P R O F I TA B I L I T Y

AH
S R EXPO 2016

C ANADA MANUFACTURING

B UY AMERICAN

S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y

SERVICE

The objective for all successful businesses is to continue to create the
best and most affordable product
and get them to their customers as
quickly, efficiently and cost effectively as possible. But the capabilities of 3-D printing don't always
have to take on the mammoth efforts associated with creating a wing
for a jet airplane, or the life-changing production of a prosthetic leg.
As I sit in my office writing this article, I can glance over at my office
door and see that it's propped open
with a doorstop. Now a doorstop
isn't exactly an engineering marvel,
but it does its specific job nicely.
And it was created on a 3-D printer
in our office.
From the time I downloaded an
image of a basic doorstop on my
computer and sent it to the printer in
our office, it took about three hours
before I had one in my hand. Sure, I
could have taken time out from my
busy day to drive to a hardware store
to buy a doorstop (loss of productivity), or put a stack of books against
the door (ugly) or trained my dog to
sit against the door for eight hours
(cruel), but I didn't have to.
I only hit "1" on the printer
prompt. But I could have hit "10", or
"100", or "1,000" and I still would
have beaten the time it would have
taken to design and manufacture a
doorstop with traditional methods
by weeks, maybe even months. 3-D
printing gives companies the ability to achieve their goals faster and
more cost-effectively as technology gets more and more refined, and
its uses and choices of materials
continue to multiply. Businesses

that aren't staying up with this ever-evolving technology will quickly
discover their competition is starting to gain an edge.
That is, if they haven't already. mt


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016

Contents
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 1
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 2
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Contents
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 4
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 5
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 6
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 7
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