Bob Al describes himself and his team at Print-a-Part 3D as “geeks of the first order,” and the group of Ivy Leaguers say they’re dedicated to making Retail Renderables the next logical step forward in 3D printing services.
“We are not young,” Al says of the group. “We have all made small fortunes, primarily as a part of the military-industrial complex, as technical services suppliers. We have all won and lost before, but not this time.”
Based in Virginia, the 3D service bureau printapart3d.com say they’re now the first company to successfully list “Retail Renderedables,” parts available via retail and printable on a 3D printer, on Amazon.
The company, which we first covered back in December, is offering complete sets of bolts, screws, nuts, washers, and other industrial fasteners as ready-to-print STL files, and Al says the designs are being offered on flash drives and memory cards as Amazon has yet to fully develop a system for digital downloads of non-entertainment media. That feature is expected to be complete later this year.
Digital versions of the files are available directly through the Print-a-Part 3D website, and in keeping with the firm’s motto “no Geeks nor Genius required,” the parts sets can be printed out without technical expertise or even access to a computer.
Print-a-Part 3D is a division of Alacrity Engineering Services.
Head design engineer Gare Henderson says a critical part of the idea behind the company is stimulating the development of high-end 3D designers and the sales of 3D printers.
Al adds that consumers aren’t necessarily the immediate market for the Print-a-Part start-up, but instead, his team is looking at state-of-art automotive shops, many of which have an ongoing need for lightweight plastic parts.
“The most pervasive use of RRs parts will be military and industrial users with expensive supply lines,” Al says. “Forward deployed troops, or scientists on space stations will be the natural beneficiaries of renderable parts, because rendering on demand increases the value of cargo shipped or carried.”
As for now, the Print-A-Part 3D line has been accepted by the Amazon Brand Registry program, and they’ve also launched a Kickstarter campaign from which they hope to raise $250,000 by March 22nd.
What do you think about Print-a-Part 3D? Are they ahead of their time or right on track? Let us know in the Print-a-Part 3D forum thread on 3DPB.com.