Slant 3D’s Mason 3D printer marketing preview
“Perfect teleportation” may sound like a sci-fi term, but for a Nampa 3D printing company, it’s a key to success.
Slant 3D’s prototyping printer, The Mason – which is itself 3D printed – helps companies finalize their design before Slant 3D starts printing in bulk on its array of more than 100 3D printers.
“We were in the beta for the Mason and are going to keep it,” said Ben Peterson, designer at Wacky Bobbers, which makes a line of novelty fishing bobbers. He said the company has been using Slant 3D for production of a number of its products and tried the Mason to see whether it could eliminate a delay of a couple of weeks due to shipping parts back and forth for verification sampling.
“So far it has worked out,” Peterson said. “The Mason basically allows for perfect teleportation of our parts. Instead of sending samples and test prints back and forth, Slant 3D either prints out samples remotely on our Mason for us to evaluate, or we tweak prototypes and send the final digital files to Slant 3D for production. It has cut down design and verification time by weeks, and lets us move into production without intermediate steps.”
Mason printers at Slant 3D itself help the company meet other customers’ needs. The company products 10,000 to 15,000 parts per week, CEO Gabe Bentz said, all with just a handful of staff.
“What we do is production 3D printing – really high volumes of plastic parts,” Bentz said.
Its clients have to do the prototyping and sampling, so Slant 3D designed the printer to help get those out.
“As soon as it’s prepared, they can send it to us, and we can make ten thousand of their parts,” he said. “It creates a perfect pipeline without any intermediary.”
Slant 3D is housed in the Small Business Development Center Business Accelerator in Nampa. Clients are largely national and international, including household names such as Amazon and Nickelodeon.
“California is a good chunk,” Bentz said. “Idaho is not a large fraction of it.”
House of Design, Bestbath, and Three Rivers Seed Co. are among the local clients.
Clients also include early-stage projects for Kickstarter, craft products, toys, small promotional products and small industrial products, he said.
Two employees work remotely in Hong Kong and Corpus Christi, Texas, on software and design, while two in-house technicians run the printers.
The Mason is available at prices ranging from $750 to $1,000, depending on bundled services such as design and preparation. So far Slant 3D has sold more than 10 but fewer than 100, Bentz said.
With the success of the Mason, the company may be doubling its staff this year and plans to add a second factory at an undetermined Nampa location with more printers..
“That’s the roadmap,” Bentz said.
Why Nampa? There’s room, Bentz said. The community is also manufacturing-based. “You can build out warehousing and factory floors,” he said.
Bentz got into the business three years ago, when he ran a company called Slant Concepts. “We had created a series of products that we didn’t expect to be successful, so we designed them to be 3D-printed,” he explained. When they took off, he had to design a printer farm to produce them.
“As we scaled it up, we realized it was economically viable, so we spun it off.”
Later this year or early next, the company will start looking for investors, Bentz said.