Company From Minnesota brings 3D printing services to individual farms
News about inventive high-tech applications of 3D printing technologies is quite common nowadays. However we shouldn’t think that there’s only a limited number of fields where this technology is useful. Actually creative manufacturing is appropriate to almost any field which somehow uses objects. That’s what GVL Proto Poly, a company situated in Litchfield, Minnesota, give a good example of.
They suggest their agricultural consumers using 3D printing technology. Using 3D printing on farms may seem weird to many readers. But can you imagine that farmers have to work with a great number of various special machines that are either pretty expensive or require expensive spare pieces. That’s why 3D printing can be useful here.
If so, why haven’t they used 3D printing before? Actually GVL Proto Poly started offering their 3D printers to the agricultural branch only on 2012; before that time they’ve been popular with a number of other industries for more than twenty years. However the Company, who wanted us to keep their name secret, was rather skeptical, as they had never imagined 3D printing to be used in agriculture.
Imagine that Farmer A and Farmer B have some agricultural difficulties. They are searching for various creative solutions to them. That’s how a company that develops constituents for original equipment generate about 35 percent of their business. And various add-ons to equipment add a lot to productivity levels. Allan Cronen, CEO of the company, told that when the farmer comes and says that he is looking for some solution, that’s not the only problem he comes with. So they pay all their attention to the one who comes. Some of the objects they create need more than a common desktop 3D printer. To print some agricultural parts they use a large 3D printer that supports the 36 inches x 24 inches x 36 inches size. And don’t forget all the additional equipment and hardware. Taken all together they occupy the whole room.
The process resembles any other common 3D printing procedure and uses the same SAD software to make 3D renderings. The components are printed in polyethylene or nylon; but if we consider their sizes, it may take up to a couple of days to finish the printing. But ordering the accessories from China is much more expensive and takes even more time to get them.
3D printing has become popular in the agricultural sector. Cronen said that every year he travels all over the United States, where he gets a lot of attention during farm shows. He says that 3D printing is already changing the way they do their business. 3D printing is endless. If there is anything you can design or draft on a 3D CAD or 3D drafting program, you can print it. It’s very simple. That’s why 3D printing is likely to become the future of agriculture. Surely large 3D printers with the necessary equipment won’t be popular with lots of farmers. But affordable 3D printed components will probably change lots of agricultural operations and more innovative creations may appear.
Video credits: Agriculture.com