Big Ideas Episode 2: Additive Manufacturing Recycle Box
Our Big Ideas video series features how innovation shapes our culture and drives our growth at Spec Engineering. In today’s episode, we are very lucky to have National Sales Manager Edel Rodriguez here to talk to us about some big ideas, including additive manufacturing, 3D printing, and our Recycle Box.
John: So Edel, innovation means a lot of things to a lot of different people. In your circumstance, how does innovation motivate you?
Edel: Well, as a sales person, it’s always nice to be a part of an innovative company. The marketplace as a whole has a lot of out of the box standard solutions, but the way we see things going, the way the market is going, is everybody is asking for something special, something different. So being here at Spec, working with a team of engineers that we have, it allows us to bridge that gap to bring the customers what they need and what they want, as opposed to what we have.
John: Yeah and it’s also interesting in terms of the culture here at Spec, in development of the Big Ideas team, which you’re a part of bringing ideas to the marketplace. You have had one that you’re actually authored, and now you are bringing to the marketplace the Recycle Box. Can you tell us a little about it?
Edel: Yeah so it’s interesting, as part of the Big Ideas team or group, everybody brings something else to the table. My background is more in the screening and separation side of things, particle size distribution, and what shapes do or what particles do.
One of the things that come up over the past number of years is this additive manufacturing world. People ask what’s additive manufacturing. So it’s 3D printing in case you don’t know, I’ll give you a little background of what 3D printing is.
3D printing is where a large box of some sort lays down a small bead of material, whether it’s something as simple as nickel, or something up as expensive as gold. This printer will melt that bead and then lay another one on top and keep building it, and that’s part of the printer is called the build chamber.
You can imagine these little particles that they’re putting in here can be very small, as small as 8 micron. When it’s done, fortunately, and unfortunately there are what they call partially sintered particles, so as particles that were kind of melted together but kind of didn’t, they fall off the side. When folks are doing something as simple as nickel, you know what they may not care because it’s cheap. If you’re processing gold, you care and you want that back, so that’s where the Recycle Box comes in.
John: So Edel, can you tell us all about the pain points that are out there that is the problem that is Recycle Box is solving?
Edel: The customers who are using, or 3D printing, or printing with like I said very expensive and very valuable materials, the issue that comes in is the current market doesn’t have anybody who makes these boxes that are specialized in the entire process. So you go to customers who either do sell vacuums and make vacuums versus guys who make screeners and just screeners, they don’t do both. Where we came in as we looked at it and said, ok let’s look at this little more holistic approach.
John: Maybe give us a little more detail that makes that unique from a holistic standpoint?
Edel: Sure, so just to give you an idea, what is a Recycle Box what does it do right, so it pulls material out of that build chamber, runs it through a vacuum into a screener, and then a can or cannot in free introduce it back into the 3D print. Our customers are asking for, you know, 10, 12, even 8 micron particles, where these manufacturers nowadays they can’t do that they can only get as low as 32, 44. So instead of saying, hey guys I want you to do what I’m capable of doing, we went out there and found the solution that can truly solve their problem.
John: What was that solution?
Edel: We partnered with a company called Elcan Industries, a screener and screening company. What we’ve done is we’ve taken their technology, which is the High Sifter, and incorporated that into our system using our controls, using our vacuum, and using our technology, partnered with theirs. So now we can say that we are the only company in the marketplace that can screen below 10 micron and reintroduced that particle back into the system.
One of the special things about our system about our box is the fact that it is a custom solution. As a solutions provider, you don’t have to worry about being pigeonholed into any 1 type of solution. If what we currently offer may be too much for what you need, we can customize that box to fit your needs.
John: Who’s it for, who should be interested in this equipment?
Edel: So it’s interesting, it’s pretty much anybody who processes or 3D prints with material that’s valuable to them.
John: Is it available right now?
Edel: It is, so we can make it kind of off the shelf based on our standard offering, and then of course we can make it customized what their needs are.
John: How can I get my hands on one?
Edel: Contact Spec and get ahold of me at 815-676-5006 x1
John: Thank you very much for joining us today and sharing your big ideas, especially about the Recycle Box. I also want to thank all of you for joining the Big Ideas video series. Join us next time for more big ideas here at Spec Engineering!
To find out more about the Recycle Box or to place an order, call 815-676-5006 and press 1 for sales.
The Recycle Box
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