Tech & Online

Apr 2, 2013 7:27 PM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News

Missoula 3D printers fabricate just about anything

MISSOULA - If you've ever faced the problem of "there has to be a part for that", a new Missoula company is aiming to provide the answer.

A group of designers at Acuity Design are working in a loft office above Higgins Avenue on the cutting edge of computer manufacturing, utilizing 3D printers to fabricate just about anything, from car parts to art work.

Utilizing designs run through more common-place computer assisted design programs, the acuity team converts those schematics into files that can then be fed to the 3D printers. The printers then utilize products like nylon to "print" the various objects.

For engineers like Michael Manhardt it's the next logical step in product development.

"I mean we've done like a flashlight for a military application all the way to some of our bigger clients. We do component design for motorcycles. So it's really not limited on what we can do," he explained.

"That's the thing about being an engineer and having such experience. I work with people to say take the idea, the problem that you say why isn't there a better way?" Manhardt added.

Acuity will host a First Friday event this week from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. featuring live demonstrations of the printers accompanied by finished 3-D art pieces on display.

Acuity Design is located at 240 North Higgins, above Hide and Sole.

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