Solving Problems and Squashing Stereotypes with 3D Printing

Charles is a metal designer and 3D printing enthusiast living in Las Vegas, NV. Although he is a SolidWorks wizard and has produced some amazing prints, he says, “I am honored to be known only as a friend helping Tom and Keith”, two YouTube personalities in the metalworking field.

We were very excited to talk with Charles, and patience was a virtue in the process. He stays so busy printing on his 3D printer (for both himself and others) that it is hard to find the time to connect. Charles chuckles and admits, “I was hoping to contact you sooner, but I spent the day designing & printing items for others using your wonderful Afinia H479 3D Printer!” Charles is one of Afinia’s most avid supporters and recently upgraded to the H480 3D printer. What will happen to his previous model?

He wants to spread the Afinia passion, and will be donating his existing printer to a friend.

Problem Solving with 3D

Charles has an impressive list of items he has 3D rendered and/or 3D printed. His list includes candy molds, iPhone submarines, RC micro rock crawler trucks, models, and much more.

Charles' 3D Rendering of a R/C Micro Rock Crawler
Charles’ 3D Rendering of a R/C Micro Rock Crawler

One of his most recent projects was making an ant-bait trap for a friend. However, it is hard to say whether Charles does this for work or for fun. If you ask him what he does for a living, you won’t get a typical answer. “I work with interesting people on interesting projects. For years, I have been solving other peoples’ design and fabrication problems. Sometimes I have a few days and sometimes I only have overnight to fix the issue, but I enjoy the deadlines. It makes it more interesting, and interest creates ideas.”

The Borax and Honey Ant Bait Trap
The Borax and Honey Ant Bait Trap
Inside of the Borax and Honey Ant Bait Trap
Inside of the Borax and Honey Ant Bait Trap

Team Work

Two people that Charles often assists are Tom Lipton and Keith Rucker, two well-known YouTube personalities. Tom Lipton works with Ox Tools and Keith works at Vintage Machinery Museum and each has over 10,000 YouTube followers. “As you can see from my CTM Projects blog and GrabCAD profile, I love “Just for Fun’ projects with interesting people and can be almost a bit too enthusiastic. The nice thing about Tom and Keith is they understand I like to work on ‘Just for Fun’ projects and update the my CTM-Projects blog to give friends and family something to view.”

Squashing Stereotypes

“Many people have embraced 3D-Printing/Additive Manufacturing and some, like myself, see it as the future of manufacturing. When I design items, not only do I design them for current machining and forging processes, I attempt to design them for a smooth transition to a 3D-Printing manufacturing process.”

“If you think about it, all old technology was once new technology. Unfortunately, many old-school ‘Craftsmen’ see 3D printing technology as only a toy, or possibly a future “threat” to their ‘old school’ techniques. But this is only because they haven’t been shown the value of 3D printing, when used in conjunction with ‘old school’ processes (which, mind you, were once cutting-edge technologies). The ‘future threat’ mentality is squashed by Keith Rucker & Tom Lipton who are making videos showing how the Afinia 3D printer is being used in conjunction with Metalwork projects.

Most recently, Keith is working on videos educating viewers how to use 3D printers to make patterns for casting brass parts. Once they see the videos, viewers will have no doubt that these processes will work if they also buy an Afinia 3D Printer. It is kind of hard for people to peg 3D printers as toys when they see Keith and Tom using the Afinia for creative and innovative processes in conjunction with ‘old school’ equipment.”

“It is all about confidence when deciding to buy a new semi-expensive tool: Confidence, first, that one is buying the correct brand, and next, that they will be able to use the tool when it arrives. Tom and Keith produce great videos that share knowledge, and new techniques with current- and future-3D printer users.”

Avid Afiniac

Charles is a huge supporter of the Afinia 3D printer. If you follow him on Twitter (@metaldesigner), you will see Tweets showing photos and videos of his Afinia prints. “The Afinia 3D printer is amazingly accurate! It is just a high-quality machine. The Afinia 3D printer is made of metal, unlike others that look like plastic toys.” Charles did recently have an issue with some warped prints, not uncommon in 3D printing, and Tweeted us when the solution arrived:

Tweet from Charles

All 3D printer users know that they are not yet without glitches. As Charles puts, it, “3D-Printer technology is about where the Internet was in 1995. It works, some people are using it creatively, yet it is in its infancy.” At Afinia, we are very excited for what our future holds, and we appreciate the support from our customers and fans.