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Michael Storey: Located in the Chicagoland area, Beckatt Solutions is a leading distributor and value add reseller of 3D printing technologies and services, including 3D printers, consumables, scanners and software. We are committed to providing our clients with cutting-edge 3D printing technologies and services. I founded the company with a partner, Matt Pray in 2013. We started Beckatt Solutions to increase the number of 3D printers, and expand 3D printing services and partners in the United States. I currently serve as one of the Managing Partners for the company, overseeing sales and marketing, as well as new business development.
What are the biggest changes you see happening in your industry?
As the technology becomes more mainstream, the implementation costs (read: purchase of 3D printers and installation/training) will come down as more competitors enter the market. At the same time, the technology is improving, meaning 3D printing is getting fast. This means the technology is available to more companies, including the mom & pop shops.
The other exciting thing we are seeing is schools (especially colleges and universities) have started to use 3D printing regularly. More schools are putting a focus on STEM education, helping to prepare students for life in the working world. Schools also want students to be familiar with the technologies they will be using after graduation. Because of this, there are a number of colleges and universities that have started to implement 3D printing in their curricula, including art and design, architecture, engineering and physics/computer science.
What opportunities and challenges will these changes bring about?
The biggest opportunity is for companies to invest in 3D printing and substantially reduce their costs (of prototyping, casting, thermoforming, etc.), while at the same time cutting their time to market. These companies will have a competitive edge and will end up increasing their revenues. Any company that does machining and prototyping (which is the majority of manufacturing companies) can benefit from implementing additive manufacturing in their operations. Also see Japan Printing.
In addition to the hardware, 3D modeling software platforms have begun to creep up. SpaceClaim, one of the companies with whom we work, offers a unique way to solve modeling and geometry problems, without the user needing a CAD background. This opens up the technology even further, to those who may not have spent much time working in additive manufacturing in the past.
What are your biggest goals?
Our biggest goal is to help educators develop and teach 3D printing classes. The best thing we can do for our students in this country is to prepare them for the technology they will be encountering on the job site after graduation. Mcor Technologies, and their paper-based 3D printers, are well suited for the education sector. Mcor Technologies has revolutionized the 3D printing industry with their unique process that provides high quality 3D prints at an extremely reasonable cost.
There are three main things that drew us to Mcor: the extremely low operating cost (5-20% of the cost of conventional 3D printers), the highly eco-friendly process (no harsh chemicals required, and fully recyclable parts), and their full color capabilities (one million+ unique colors).
Who and what would you need to reach your goals fast?
President Obama said in his 2014 State of the Union Address that 3D printing is America’s chance to bring manufacturing back to these shores. We are looking for individuals and companies who are excited about the opportunities that 3D printing present to the manufacturing, design and engineering worlds. Those who have already started to use 3D printing in their businesses and schools are great cheerleaders for the field. We want to seek out and work with forward-thinking people who see the long term benefits 3D printing offers to this country.
Finally, who should contact you and why?
Our focus is on additive manufacturing (3D printing), and partnering with companies who see an opportunity to expand their business using this new, cutting-edge technology. The variety and types of 3D printers and materials available mean that companies can find the right technology to suit their functions. In fact, additive manufacturing is well suited to help solve unique prototyping, design and packaging problems. We offer a number of options in this regard, including a paper-based 3D printer that provides the lowest cost output. The process is extremely eco-friendly, and the printers, made by Mcor Technologies, offer full color capabilities, unmatched by all but a few on the market.