Students get 3-D view of what’s ahead in printing
By Mark Heller
GCU News Bureau
Printing in 3-D is already here. Manufacturing and engineering materials made from the 3-D printing of metal and titanium could be next.
But a gap exists between the design and production aspects needed to create these futuristic products, and Titan Industries is working on the solution.
That was the message of Titan CEO Joe Manzo as he presented his Tempe-based and former startup engineering company to students in Grand Canyon University’s IDEA Club on Wednesday.
Manzo’s presentation to Colangelo College of Business assistant professor Tim Kelley’s IDEA group was part of the Canyon Angels entrepreneurial program. It features a series of company product “pitches” and explorations into a variety of startup organizations.
Two more companies will explain their respective organizations and make “pitches” to IDEA Club students on Sept. 14: Local Work is a job placement and online job-posting platform. Skookii is building payment platforms similar to PayPal for schools and school districts.
The companies will give formal presentations to students and investors Oct. 6 at the Canyon 49 Grill for the chance to receive funding for their respective pursuits, and IDEA Club students will give their recommendations to investors.
Manzo spoke for nearly an hour and fielded questions from students on the inner workings of his organization and its goals moving forward. After six years at Orbital, a global engineering firm, Manzo and his former college roommate at Embry Riddle University started Titan two years ago as a niche engineering firm.
With 3-D printing, manufacturing and engineering expected to rapidly evolve in the next few years, Manzo is developing software to help bridge the gap between these departments. The goal is to be “the de facto tool that’s used in computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE)” for metal-based products to be used in 3-D printing. Such software tools are rare in the United States, and a $23 billion industry is expected to reach $50 billion in five years.
“It’s a huge shift that will impact almost everything we make,” Kelley said.
Manzo said his company is one of “three or four” in the country to possess a 3-D metal printer in the United States, but it won’t last for long.
Manzo said 1 in 2,000 engineering parts are currently made using CAD and CAE, but he expects that figure to be 1 in 3 by 2026, largely because he anticipates the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to release specifications for computer-aided parts in 2019.
By then, Manzo said, computer software needs to be compatible for both a company’s engineers and manufacturers to build and tweak 3-D products using CAD and CAE, because tech companies will be everywhere.
“Then the floodgates will open,” he said.
Contact Mark Heller at (602) 639-7516 or [email protected]