Another dreary day at the print shop? Hardly. Thanks to the innovation behind 3D printing, a new type of print shop and service has cropped up, offering more than stacks of collated and stapled papers. WhiteClouds, a 3D printing service located in Ogden, UT, offers a number of printing and modeling solutions. And, thanks to considerable social media hype, WhiteClouds is gaining attention from more than just engineers and designers. Below are just some of the ways the company is making waves in the world of 3D printing.
The Hyperloop Challenge
It was Elon Musk who first sketched out the new-school form of transportation where travelers would be encapsulated in a pod and moved via air pressure. Sure, it was just an idea thrown out on paper, but it was WhiteClouds that created a model. In fact, Jerry Ropelato, CEO of WhiteClouds, issued a challenge to five designers to create a Hyperloop model in just 24 hours. The designers broke the model into five components and went to work. The project garnered much national attention, particularly via social media websites. The group used a few different 3D printers to create the model, including the Connex 500, which printed the pillars in plastic. The tubes were made of a clear resin and were printed with the ProJet 3500 HDMax, while the ZPrinter 650 was responsible for the station platform and the pod. While the Hyperloop is still in its infancy, WhiteClouds is helping to innovate and design intelligent solutions.
WhiteClouds has been dipping its toes into the social media landscape, some of which has centered on a YouTube presence. Various challenges and filmed progress have garnered hits and comments to the tune of over 36,000 views for several videos, particularly for those explaining how the Hyperloop model was made.
To commemorate the invention of the assembly line and to marry two manufacturing innovators, WhiteClouds decided to create a 1:20 model of the famed Model-T Ford for the 100-year anniversary of Henry Ford's creation of the assembly line. The model car was printed with several different types of material and pieced together using the Connex 500 3D printer.
WhiteClouds recently reached a Kickstarter campaign which asked donors to help create a collection of steampunk-inspired dragons and dinosaurs all printed on various 3D printers. While it started as a vanity project, the company asked Kickstarters to donate $12K to help with what became a pet project. The funding was reached and the project is under way for those at WhiteClouds. The models will be given to those who funded the campaign, as well as sold as toys and figurines all without having to be manufactured using the usual means.
The WhiteClouds lab contains 10 different types of 3D printers that help complete a variety of 3D print jobs in varying materials, resolutions and speed. The creation of models and even the Hyperloop is meant to be a sample of what the lab can complete using high tech 3D printers.
WhiteClouds is taking the recent availability of 3D printers and pushing the boundaries of can be done with this technology. As 3D printing technology improves, it will be worth keeping an eye on these folks to see what they come up with.
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