Grain Lighting is a company based in Oakland, CA that is working on creating alternative, atmospheric lighting. Earlier this year, CEO Robert and Industrial Designer Marc decided to invest in a 3D printer.
The office next door to theirs purchased a Makerbot Replicator, which Marc began using.
"I’ve been skeptical of 3D printing from the beginning, especially with the Makerbot. It seemed like a cool concept, but in practice, it seemed like a toy," said Robert.
Prior to 3D printing, Grain Lighting had been creating models using bamboo, which was a time-consuming and costly process. They turned to 3D printing for the creation of model parts, and realized that they should get one of their own.
“We found that we were depending on the 3d printer more and more for prototyping parts, but it was taking forever on the Replicator, which kept breaking down,” continued Robert.
Grain Lighting became aware of Type A Machines from the Bay Area Maker Faire held in San Mateo. Robert and Marc decided on the Series 1 because of its price and better extruder.
"Compared to what I've seen of the Makerbot, I really like the Series 1," said Robert. "We're at a point where we just rely on it to do things. You set it up and you walk away."
Robert and Mark agreed that 3D printing adds ease to the whole manufacturing process. Instead of relying on 2D models of drawings and pictures, designers can now present a real life model of the part that they desire.
Since buying a Series 1 printer, Robert feels like 3D printing has graduated from a novelty to a necessity within a mere matter of months.
“Anyone who is doing this kind of design and manufacturing pretty much needs to have a 3D printer. Once the price point had hit to a level as modest as ours, we could actually start 3D printing. This meant that we are taking this tool seriously. If there are malfunctions, it isn’t ‘my hobby is delayed’. It’s ‘my business is delayed’.”
Grain Lighting has been using the Series 1 printer to create models and prototypes of designs that were once an idea, making it clear that our 3D printer has become a staple within their office.
“It makes things possible that we practically could not create,” said Marc.
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