IC3D Printers from Dublin, Ohio has earned the Crystal Award for Excellence from Ohio’s Edison Technology Centers for their work in the field of additive manufacturing.
The company manufacturers 3-D printers which are based on the open-source Reprap project and utilize a MendelMax-type aluminum extrusion frame.
Founder Michael Cao was exposed to 3D-printing technology first while working as an engineer at Honda. Fascinated by additive manufacturing, he began building printers in his basement using an open-source design. It wasn’t long before he recognized a problem - the raw material filament needed by his machines was very expensive and often of poor quality. He took the bold step to create his own company to manufacture and sell filament.
Along the way, PolymerOhio added its expertise to the equation, first helping Cao obtain the equipment he needed to get started, later helping to adjust processing parameters in order to increase filament throughput, improve quality and reduce costs.
“Michael had the idea of making his own filament, and the wherewithal to raise the funds and procure the equipment. He had 80% or 90% of what he needed; we helped him get the rest. The credit goes to him for succeeding. We just helped him get there quicker and for less cost,” said Bruce Fawcett, executive director at PolymerOhio.
In order to qualify for the award companies must work directly with one or more of the Edison Technology Centers to qualify. The six Edison Technology Centers provide a variety of product and process innovation and commercialization services to both established and early-stage technology-based businesses.