Additive manufacturing (AM)—more widely known as 3D printing—has become one of the fastest growing industries in Northeast Ohio, and with good reason. This region is particularly suited to foster strong growth in the AM industry due to a well-established supply chain, an abundance of end users of AM products and a strong network of educational and research institutions that continually generate new AM talent. Here is a look at a few local innovators that are leading in the Northeast Ohio AM industry.
Metalcraft Solutions was founded in Akron, Ohio as Acro Tool & Die Company in 1951, specializing in the tire mold industry. As a third generation, family-owned company, they still focus on customer relationships above all else. Metalcraft Solutions employs direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), a manufacturing technology that improves output of prototyping and product development—delivering a significant advantage to their clients. Industries of all types have recognized several benefits with DMLS, including:
Additive Engineering Solutions
Additive Engineering Solutions (AES) first opened its doors in 2016, and over the course of four short years have positioned themselves as a leader in the AM space. With a team of nine employees as of 2020, and plans to continue growing, AES is poised for success. They have recently expanded into 4,000 square feet of space in their existing facility, giving them a total of 14,000 square feet of operating space to accommodate their growing arsenal of 3D printing equipment—including the first ever Large Format Additive Manufacturing polymer 3D printer, BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing). It’s only uphill from here for AES.
Fila-Mint, Inc. is a small company located in Chesterfield, Ohio. The equipment Fila-Mint employs is highly specialized to manufacture very tight-tolerance medical tubing. To remain viable and on the cutting edge, their equipment has been updated to meet the specific demands of extruding thermoplastics for 3D printers. The attention to detail in this process is key. An often overlooked area of 3D printer filament manufacturing is the winding—but Fila-Mint excels here. While a lot of the commercially available equipment for winding is intended for other products such as wire, tubing, fiber-optics, fishing line, and string trimmers, Fila-Mint has focused significant time and resources to specialize their process to create a smooth and tangle free filament, which is crucial for medical tubing.
Humtown is a three generation, family-owned operation out of Columbiana, Ohio. While Humtown does offer traditional manufacturing methods of sand cores and molds, some clients have different needs that require the precision and efficiency of 3D printing. Humtown Products skillfully uses 3D sand printing technology (additive manufacturing) to produce cores and molds for foundry customers. Humtown was one of the earliest adopters of sand 3D printing to produce cores and molds for the foundry industry, so their expertise is unmatched.
An opportunity for growth
While this was just a snapshot of some of the great innovators of AM in Northeast Ohio, it’s clear that the opportunity is immense. Through the efforts of researchers, educators, and investors, Northeast Ohio stands to solidify itself as a true hub for AM innovation in North America. If you’re an Ohio-based AM company looking for support and resources, email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org