GRAND RAPIDS, MI — When Neal Brace was 8 years old, he saw a plastic replica of the starship Enterprise being created on a three-dimensional printer at the Johnson Controls plant where his father worked.
Today, he’s relying on a similar process to develop Sintercore, a business gaining notice in weapons manufacturing circles for its debut product - a tiny gun accessory that represents a big leap for a controversial technology that experts think may revolutionize the way goods are made and delivered.
“People can’t believe it’s not plastic,” said Brace, a 26-year-old Grand Valley State University business management graduate and former U.S. Marine, holding a small metal muzzle brake that was not machined or cast, but was printed. ...
Pearce said the cost of printing in ceramics and metals is poised to drop significantly, especially when open-source designers working collaboratively on the Internet start tinkering with blueprints for printers that make objects using the highly-accurate Selective Laser Sintering method, the patent for which expires next year.