POW :: Mystery Art

February 12th, 2013

RTV Molding - Mystery Art - GROWit 3D

Process: LMC (Leftover Material from a Cup)

Material: Plastic

Purpose: To be honest, it doesn’t really have a purpose, but we know it looks cool and that it just had to be shared.

For those who have just stumbled across this article, GROWit is an additive manufacturing (3D printing) service company based in Orange County, California. We do everything from 3D printing prototypes to small-run production jobs. We have our hands in everything from automotive to aerospace to consumer products; we do it all! If you have a 3D file that you would like printed, go ahead and submit it via the GROWit Upload Center for a free quote.

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Pinewood Propulsion

September 25th, 2012

Author: Brett Dobosy

Additive manufacturing takes first place again. This time, it’s stolen the spotlight in the world of pinewood derby cars.

The boy-scout dominated sport of model cars has traditionally been limited to candidates of the tree-born variety. But these painstakingly-carved, gravity- driven wooden cars hold no candle to the firepower of propulsion pinewood derby vehicles. A number of methods have been developed to propel these tiny racers to the finish faster than the competition. Electric motors, inducted fans, or other rotary systems have been developed. Increasing in popularity currently is the single-use carbon dioxide tank that rapidly expels pressurized gas as a jet engine system.

Retired engineer Joseph Hodgson applied his mechanical knowledge to the world of pinewood derby racing to develop the car above out of carefully machined parts. The entire system drove his car to the finish line in a mere 1.14 seconds, much faster than traditional pinewood derby cars that finish between 2 and 3 seconds after they start. You really can’t get any better than that.

Or can you? If you contrast some of the aspects of Hodgson’s design with modern manufacturing processes like additive manufacturing, you might notice that his design still has room for improvement. Say, maybe putting in a bigger tank? Consolidating the trigger mechanism into a simpler housing? Giving it a cooler car body? All of these things are currently being taken into consideration for the 2nd Annual GROWit Pinewood Derby.

Chevrolet Impala | Transformers: Dark of the Moon


GROWit 3D Printed Impala

Designer: Brett Dobosy, Intern Extraordinaire

Above is one of the examples of additive manufacturing’s take on the pinewood derby. The original 12 gram tank of the previous design has been replaced with a 16 gram tank, the trigger mechanism has been simplified and condensed, and the car body has been outfitted with plenty of modifications that could not be created in such detail without the help of 3D printing, for example: the .50 caliber machine guns. The vehicle design takes after one featured in the blockbuster film Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

GROWit 3D Printed Dwarven Sphere

Dwarven Sphere | The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Pictured above is another contender in the pinewood derby. The Dwarven Sphere from the game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is currently being developed to tackle nearly impossible design constraints with the help of 3D drafting software. This particular vehicle must distribute its weight well enough to remain balanced on two wheels. It also incorporates a unique CO2 propulsion system. Instead of jettisoning the air backwards like a jet thruster, the air is instead funneled through the axels of the wheels to drive fan blades that will ultimately turn the air pressure into a rotary motion and drive the vehicle forward.

Many other GROWit employees are hard at work designing their not-so-pinewood derby cars. Other designs include perfectly aerodynamic teardrop bodies, dual CO2 tanks, and light up peripherals. Be sure to stay tuned to GROWit’s blog and watch for the results of the September 28th race.

Click here to upload your own designs – cars and beyond - for a free quote.

Want your own machine to get things rolling? We do that too! Email sales@GROWit3D.com for more information.


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3D Printing: Great for Startups

August 21st, 2012

By: Alicia Frye

Startups: The MVPs of 3D Printing
Think it. Print it. Sell it.

Startups, do I have your attention?

The MVP, or Minimal Viable Product, is something that is stressed and over again in the startup world (Eric Ries, we thank you for your guidance). Having a proof of concept or even a loose example of your product can be difficult and costly. Yet it’s the tangible example, with moving and working parts, that is often the crucial element to getting any product off the ground.

Now there are two major drawbacks in standard manufacturing:

1)  Upfront Investment
2)  Lead Time

Fortunately, there’s a new game in town: 3D printing (additive manufacturing). Now an inventor/visionary/any individual can quickly develop and manufacture a design without too much upfront investment while continuously updating the design throughout the product development stages.

Now, is 3D printing just for prototyping? Not in the least! 3D printing makes it possible for startup companies to produce prototypes AND end-use products. Need a real-life example? Thanks to a quick Google search, I found one to share[may not a GROWit project, but it’s still a winner]:

In 2011, David Minich started a company called Make Eyewear with a simple vision: glasses frames. For David, it was near impossible to find a pair of frames that catered to his tastes. Not wanting to fall victim to fashion limitations dictating his eyewear, he did something about his little predicament.

Make Eyewear has custom written all over it, offering designer glasses and custom glasses – Freestyle Glasses.

By using 3D printing, Minich and his team are able to put more emphasis on the design process and offer virtually unlimited options. Their user-friendly website even allows any person to design a pair of frames!  As is stated on the Make Eyewear website, “What it all adds up to is a process that consumes minimal energy, produces no waste, and allows for an enormous amount of design freedom.”

From the Minimal Viable Product to End Use Product, 3D printing has us all covered. Here at GROWit, we help great ideas come to life every day. You guys keep on throwing them our way.



Click here to upload your big idea designs for a free quote.

Want your own machine to get business rolling? We do that too! Email sales@GROWit3D.com for more information.