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Akron-based Company Offers the Area's First Large-Scale 3-D Printer

photo of BAAM 3D printer
The BAAM 3-D printer has become known for being able to print out an entire automobile. It's made by a Cincinnati company, and the first one that will be available for companies looking to do contract work is coming to an Akron-based company.

An Akron company is bringing 3-D printing to Northeast Ohio on a scale it says is the largest in the world.

By late January, Additive Engineering Solutions should be up-and-running with its large-scale 3-D printer, from Ohio-based Cincinnati, Inc. It's about the size of a single-car garage. In fact, this model printer was used to produce a working automobile at a manufacturing trade show in 2014.

Andrew Bader, co-founder of Additive Engineering Solutions, says the $1.5 million project will bring more efficient technology for printing tools and molds to Northeast Ohio.

“If you’re talking about pipe fittings: a lot of those are cast parts. So there has to be a mold that gets made to pour the molten metal into. So we would manufacture that mold that can make those cast parts.”

Bader adds that 3-D printing technology can cut the time in half for making such tools and molds, which he says will revolutionize manufacturing in Northeast Ohio.

“There are about 11 machines out there right now – the rest are at universities, research facilities and large OEMs. And they’re using it for their own internal purposes. There’s no company that someone can go to and say, ‘I need this printed at this kind of scale.’ We are the first people to acquire one of these machines, and then offer that machine’s service to people.”

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.