Columbus has an active 3D printing scene, but one local company is on a mission to create and manufacture the gear behind the trending technology. IC3D manufactures 3D pritners, 3D printer filament and other industry consumables.
“Our printers are based on open-source designs, but we’ve improved reliability, usability and the overall user experience,” IC3D Founder and CEO Michael Cao says.
Cao, an experienced mechanical engineer, loved 3D printing technology, but initial market prices for printers were out of his range, prompting him to build his own. After mastering the printers, Cao expanded IC3D to solve another problem he saw in the market – the sub-par filaments most printers used caused surface quality issues. Most people were using materials produced for other industries such as plastic welding and weed whacking as their 3D printer “ink.”
“Our filament is purposely designed for 3D printing by 3D printing experts,” Cao says. By taking well-known materials and controlling variables during the manufacturing process, Cao produces a filament better suited for 3D printing. IC3D manufactures two sizes of filament – 1.75 mm and 3 mm – in six colors including white, black, blue, orange, green and red. All of the filament is also manufactured in Ohio.
Quality is a top priority for IC3D. “All of our products are backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee,” Cao says. The company says that buying their filament not only means getting a high-quality product, but customers are also getting the trust and security that comes when someone is designing a product for themselves first and the market second.
IC3D finds themselves in a positive market for their technologies. “The Columbus market has been adapting to 3D printing as quickly as any other competitive cities around the nation as it becomes a growing hub for technological advancement,” Cao says. “More and more schools and businesses are adapting the technology as the benefits of 3D printing are so transparent.”
IC3D houses a printer at the Columbus Idea Foundry. The makerspace has been instrumental for the company’s development.
“The Idea Foundry has been a platform to connect with other local 3D printer enthusiasts which has allowed us to get various levels of engineering [and] design support, as well as have an invaluable source of testers for new products,” Cao says. IC3D has also found support from The City of Dublin, Dublin City Schools, COSI, the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority and C-Tec, among others.
IC3D’s products are available through their website and other e-commerce channels like Amazon and eBay.
For more information, visit ic3dprinters.com.