A new reality TV series, to be released this fall, will document the life of entrepreneur Titan Gilroy whose dark past and bright future make him a particularly interesting type of hero. The show, called Titan: American Built is different from the Real Housewives and Road Rules type of reality show in that the idea is to show a message of hope rather than to titillate the viewer with bad behavior caught on camera. Gilroy described his hopes for the show’s message:
“People will see that I fell down many times in life. I failed and made many bad decisions but got back up to overcome incredible odds to do incredible good. I can’t change the past, but I can learn from it and use it to help others.”
As a child, Gilroy was the victim of abuse and as an adult he has spent time in prison and struggled with drug addiction. One constant in his tumultuous life has always been his passion for art. During his most difficult days, he found art to be an escape. He wants to be able to share that escape, and the hope that it gave him, with others who may have a difficult time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel from the position in which they are standing. Gilroy was as lucky as he was unlucky – his first job was at a machine shop and he immediately felt like he had found the home he had been lacking. He threw himself into the challenge and soon mastered the machines and skills needed to excel.
“I had never seen CNC machines and knew absolutely nothing about manufacturing. Working in a small shop, producing cool parts for many companies including Siemens, BMW & NASA, I just kind of stepped into my destiny. I was put in front of a CNC machine and was given instructions. My art changed from a canvas to a block of metal and my aggressiveness gave me a natural instinct to push the machines.”
After only six months, Gilroy was promoted to shop foreman. Ten years later, he opened his own shop, Titan American MFG, where he goes out of his way to accept challenging projects. “Knowing that our parts are going to space is just awesome. I was homeless on the beach as a child and now make parts that go to the deepest parts of the ocean and up into space and everywhere in between.”
His next challenge? 3D printing.
“My CNC machines have lead-times of 1-12 weeks for just one part depending on my work load and the complexity of the part. My customers can send me a 3D CAD file, and I can start the 3D printing process immediately and have it run all night to deliver it in the morning. They can use the part or double check form and function. I will be using the 3D printer also to create fixtures and tooling to hold my CNC parts.”
One episode of the program that has already been filmed features 3D printing as a part of a skills program that reaches out to at-risk teenagers in Northern California. In this episode, Ken Coburn of GoEngineer worked with teens at the Maxine Singer Youth Guidance Center to help the kids design and print their ideas. GoEngineer donated computers and SolidWorks software to the facility, and Stratasys provided a 3D printer. Weekly instruction in CAD, 3D printing, and other aspects of 3D technologies will help these troubled teens find abilities to excel in the world – hopefully providing them with a smoother journey to success than that experienced by Gilroy.
Gilroy is enthusiastic about the possibilities present with 3D technology and shares that energy with anyone who will listen. He has big plans and told reporters, “I am excited to begin my journey into the world of 3D printing and consider myself fortunate to be starting this journey early, as this technology is getting ready to explode.”
Let us know your thoughts on this new series in the ‘Titan American Built’ forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the promo video for the show which will air on MAVTV, which currently has over 50 million subscribers worldwide, starting this October.
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