I recently had the chance to spend some time at RAPID Technology's offices in the Executive Center. Prior to my visit I knew very little about the world of 3D printing. I'd heard of it, but assumed 3D printers were still in laboratories at MIT. I was amazed to learn 3D printing is being used today by businesses for everything from product prototypes and prosthetics to costume armor for movies. It can even be used to print working mechanical devices with moving parts. The model above was printed as one piece with moving gears. No assembly required!
The material used to print the models can be infused with infiltrants that give the objects radically different properties and appearances. Some feel like rubber while others look and feel like solid metal. Today's 3D printers are capable of producing very intricate models with a painted appearance. The vase below sports delicate flowers on its exterior and Chinese characters on the interior.
Many thanks to RAPID COO Russ Ogi for providing us with a tour of the RAPID facility and educating us about the world of 3D printing. If you want to learn more, give Russ a call at (808) 781-1617.
RAPID Technology LLC (RAPID) is a Honolulu-based, Minority, Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business specializing in the use of technology to reduce cost and increase efficiency. Our specialized solutions include 3D Printing equipment sales, 3D design and on demand production services. 3D Printing is a technology that converts 3D computer data layer by layer into a physical model you can hold in your hand. RAPID focuses on process and system based solutions. We analyze the overall client needs and goals to streamline project communication, reduce delivery time and create more efficient business processes.
Our solutions have included product prototypes, 3D models for design analysis, virtual walkthroughs for client presentations, educational lesson plans for learning 3D applications, and consultation on automated digital processes to streamline and replace traditional practices.
RAPID currently services industries from engineering and architecture to entertainment, forensics and education. We are listed on the Central Contractor Register (CCR) and are a registered vendor with SuperQuote and the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE). As Hawaii's certified Z Corporation dealer for 3D Printing and scanning solutions, RAPID provides all technical support and training locally.
Description of Images
Braingears: The braingears are an interlocking set of gears that rotate together when any one of the gears are turned. The most interesting aspect of this model is that it is not assembled and despite the moving parts it actually prints out in one piece.
HWC_inside: This is a model of the proposed Hawaii Wildlife Center created by former Kealakehe High School Senior, Jonny Hasselmann. Hasselmann created the CAD model that generated this 3D print originally as a student project. This model was used by the Hawaii Wildlife Center organization to secure funding and receive final approval for its construction.
Samurai: This Samurai helmet is an original artwork created by RAPID's Chief Operating Officer, Russ Ogi. The inspiration behind the piece is the question, "If the Samurai had continued into modern times, what would their armor have evolved into?"
Vase: This model is an example of the color capability of the 3D printer. The design and the vase itself are created at the same time, layer by layer in the 3D printer. This unique process allows for the design to even be printed on the inside of the vase.
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