Tech Corner: Can You 3D Print New Tech?

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By Michael Bryant

The answer to that question is yes if you are Dustless Technologies and Merit3D. Loveless Ash, now Dustless Technologies, started off in the Carbon County area as a vacuum solution for cleaning hot ash out of coal furnaces. They have expanded over the years to be a commercial and industrial solution for vacuum needs. With Dustless Technologies sister company Merit3D expanding into the world of 3D printing and additive manufacturing, their next business step forward is literally being 3D printed!

Merit3D’s vision is as follows: “Many companies have to go overseas to source their products. Other times, raw goods are sourced in other countries. Merit3D has found a solution and finding other solutions to make products faster, better and more efficient than traditionally possible. We want to see these technologies become mainstream in the manufacturing process.” 

Merit3D has four main goals that the company wants to achieve in the 3D printing world. Number one is to “create 200+ jobs in southeast Utah.” Number two is to “bring manufacturing back to America”. Third, “create additive manufacturing sources for manufacturers to find engineering and products at comparable rates and quality as traditional manufacturing”. The fourth and final goal is to “create an Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Center made from a consortium of government, education and industry.”

To achieve these lofty goals, Merit3D is partnering with government, private industry and higher education institutions. Partners include, but are not limited to, the following; Utah State University and the local campus of USU Eastern, University of Maine, local school districts, Conductive Composites, Intermountain Electronics, Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, local governments, Manufacturers Extension Partnership of Utah, Utah Manufacturers Association, Hill Air Force Base and several others.

Recent partnerships with USU Eastern have been successful for Merit3D to receive funds and provide training to students on the usage of various modes of 3D printing technologies. Two modes of printing are being used the most by Merit3D. The first is the most common form of printing called Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). This process works by heating a spool of filament to a liquid state then extruding or printing it out onto a surface where it cools. The second form Merit3D is employing is Vat Polymerization. This is a 3D printing process where a light source selectively cures a photopolymer resin in a pool of material.

Spencer Loveless, CEO of Merit3D, is presently working with elected officials, including Christine Watkins, David Hinkins, Congressman Jon Curtis, local mayors and county officials, to identify funding to create a manufacturing innovation center, which would aid in the company and community in achieving several of the goals stated above.

Merit3D is a sister company to Dustless Technologies. To learn more about Dustless Technologies, visit their website at www.dustlesstools.com. To learn more about Merit3D and its goals, visit merit3d.com/additive-manufacturing/.

This article is brought to you in part by Utah Coal Country Strike Team (coalcountrystriketeam.com) and Silicon Slopes East (siliconslopeseast.com), a chapter of Silicon Slopes (siliconslopes.com).

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