We've all struggled with a roll of packing tape, trying frantically to find the edge of the tape. Finally we realize we need one of those tape dispensers, you know the kind - they look like a pistol and can swiftly tape up anything placed within arm's length. We've seen many different designs for such dispensers over the years.
But where do these designs come from? One company that makes them is Tape Wrangler, who recently used 3D printing to revolutionize their business. They experienced poor results using traditional design bureaus, which took far too long and were too expensive. After bumping into a Dimension 3D printer at a trade show, the owners of Traverse City-based Tape Wrangler were convinced to take a different approach.
Soon thereafter, a 3D Printer (from Dimension) appeared in their workshop and growth has doubled ever since. Co-founder Rick Steele:
The printer allows us to produce functional 3D models we can to take on the road and demo at trade shows – without the expense, delays and privacy issues that can be associated with service bureaus.
What is it we're seeing here? It's no less than the slow movement of manufacturing away from big plants towards smaller operations using advanced tech.