3D Systems, the company that is revolutionizing how products are made, has an office in RTP.
The company uses 3-D printing to build anything from a prosthetics to a guitar.
3-D printing technology can be used in the design, development and production stages of many industries. 3D Systems makes products for the aerospace, automotive, health care, and recreation industries.
It works by making a solid object of nearly any shape from a digital model. 3-D printing creates an object by applying layers of material laid down in different shapes.
3D Systems’ Chief Strategy Officer Ping Fu said 3-D printing is kind of like 2-D printing. “The difference is when you push a button it prints a product rather than paper,” Ping Fu said.
Within an hour, a 3-D printer can create tea cup. Even the jewelry Ping Fu wears is 3-D printed. Her shoes are custom printed to fit her feet.
But 3-D printing goes beyond items made for fun or fashion, 3-D printing allows a business to skip making a cast of a product and just produce it. The process can take hours instead of days or weeks.
“It cuts down on price and time,” Ping Fu said.
Ping Fu said 3-D printing functional parts could keep jobs in the U.S. instead of importing.
“I was just at GE. They want to do next generation of engine and turbine machine using 3-D printing,” Ping Fu said.
3D Systems employees 85 people in RTP.