A new start-up company in Edmonton is boasting a pretty cool claim.
Local company 3D Print Western has the largest 3D printer in Canada.
President and CEO, Tim Yewchuk says Al — short for Albert Einstein — is three times bigger than the average 3D printer, and the scale at which it can print things is helpful.
“One is helping entrepreneurs to really get their ideas into a tangible form as quickly as possible, so rapid prototyping. The second really key area is in scale models, so you can imagine for architecture you’re getting the blueprint into a tangible form so you can really plan your projects out before breaking ground”
Yewchuk says ‘Al’ works, kind of a like a hot glue gun, extruding hot plastic.
“You apply layer, over layer, over layer to build up a three dimensional design, and we have literally dozens of different plastics. So anything that if you require heat resistance, chemical resistance, UV resistance, if it’s got to be flexible like nylon, or it can be hard like ABS or polycarbonate.”
He says one of the great things about ‘Als’ size, is the fact that it can print machine parts that are difficult to source.
“Also sometimes if it’s an older model they’ve got really high minimum requirements, you might have to spend $50,000, $60,000 for a part that you might need ten units of. So we can help you to print out reverse engineer a part where you can spend maybe $1,000 and save $50,000 – $60,000. So it’s kind of creating a digital inventory if you can think of it that way.”
Yewchuk says the Edmonton start-up is working on a project with the city for the LRT, and more information will be released in the coming days.
He says his company just held its first ‘Garage Talks’, which he hopes will become a monthly event where local innovators can speak, and cultivate a community around innovation.