After conquering the French market, ARMOR quickly expanded its additive manufacturing activities abroad. First in Europe, then in the United States. Who says expansion says expansion of the team working for the success of the company! She recently welcomed her new Business Developer for the North America region, Chad Lynn. As you know, at ARMOR, we like to highlight the talents behind our products. This is why we asked Chad a few questions to find out more about his journey. But also his role in the company and his vision of the market.
Can you present yourself and tell me more about your professional background?
My name is Chad Lynn and I’m a 37-year-old father of 3 children. (16-year-old son, 11-year-old daughter, 5-year-old daughter) I’m the Business Development Manager for Kimya by ARMOR Group. I’m an Eagle Scout that joined the military right out of high school and served in operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon my return home from war, I completed my Bachelors in Business Management and took a role as a supervisor at a plastics recycling center where I spent the next 3 years learning Polymers. I’ve been able to use my polymer knowledge to help hundreds of 3D printing companies around the world from delivering printers to Vietnam, to supplying materials to Canada, to creating prototypes for the Automotive sectors in Mexico.
How did you discover additive manufacturing?
In 2012 I was recruited into the additive manufacturing space. In order to make strategic use of my experience with polymers and injection molding companies, I was brought in to work in the additive space to assist a team in selling additive machines and materials into North America. Little did we know at the time that we would be taking the technology worldwide over the next 5 years. In 2016 our team won the bid to 3D print the props for the film “Marauders” starring Bruce Willis. It was filmed here locally in Cincinnati and we were able to produce the props in as little as 24 to 48 hours on-demand which set us apart from all of the competition and we won the bid. We also assisted the Cincinnati Reds in prototyping the Statues of Johnny Bench and Pete Rose. Both of our prototypes now stand outside the Reds stadiums as Bronze monuments to these Cincinnati Reds Hall of Famers.
What are your main missions at ARMOR?
Our main mission at ARMOR is to bring our high-quality filaments to the world market. And provide our 3 tiered additive solutions to today’s service and manufacturing challenges. Our 3 Tiers are:
- KIMYA MATERIALS – 3D FILAMENT MANUFACTURING AND DISTRIBUTION;
- KIMYA FACTORY– 3D PRINTING SERVICES FOR ON-DEMAND PART CREATION;
- KIMYA LAB MATERIAL FORMULATION AND CUSTOMIZED POLYMERS DESIGNED FOR TODAY’S PRINTERS
In addition to our manufacturing and distribution of high temp, technical, high performance, and composite materials; Kimya also offers our Kimya Factory where we have over 65 printers around the world that can help create prototypes or end-use parts for immediate delivery. We are currently printing medical face shields out of our Kimya Factory in France for the European medical teams. We are also printing medical PPE in our Kimya factory in the United States. The ability to react immediately to create solutions for the challenges of our day is exactly how we see the Kimya offerings meeting the needs of today’s market place. And lastly, our Kimya Labs team is ready and able to create new and exciting materials on demand. We have the expertise not only to formulate and create polymers for 3D filament, but we also have the ability to add fillers and additives to materials as requested by our customers. This allows us to provide every customer with their own personal and unique solution to bring to the market place.
What do you like the most about this technology?
The 3 things I like the most about this technology are the speed at which you can bring a new idea to market. The minimal to no waste during production, the ease at which you can make design changes without creating costly overhead.
- Swiftly Bring New Ideas to market – In the past new ideas had to go through engineering teams, get multiple approvals, then go to a mold shop where you would wait 6 to 8 months to get your prototype back just in order to see if you need to make further changes. With 3D printing, one engineer can go through all of these steps with minimal to no supervision and far less approvals. With the ability to test parts within hours and make changes the same day, a new Idea can be introduced within days or even hours of its concept. Our teams’ effort to print medical face shields is a great example of this. We responded to the market demand within days of notification!
- Minimal to No Waste– Unlike subtractive manufacturing that is removing material from a solid block or structure, Additive Manufacturing is perfectly designed to only use “exactly” the amount of material required to complete the job. This process leaves no leftover material going into landfills ans virtually all of the materials used in the additive space can be recycled and made right back into new filament!! (on a side note, creating recycled filament is what got our Kimya team into the additive space to begin with)
- Low-Cost Design Changes – In the past, design changes could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take months if not years to complete. Design engineers would have to collaborate with molding shops in other countries to get changes implemented and not only did this take a lot of time, it also cost a lot of money and if there was a mistake, it could bankrupt a project before it ever got off the ground. Now, with additive manufacturing exploding onto the scene, a small team of engineers or even an individual can make changes on the fly without much overhead at all other than material costs. The speed at which a printer can produce a prototype “allows” for mistakes as it typically takes 3 to 5 iterations of a project before it gets a final approval. The ability to do this in a matter of days without any expenditure is making it possibly for businesses large and small to get creative and add new products to our global markets. Because mistakes in the molding world are so costly, companies would spend thousands in Engineering costs just to make sure design was correct before it goes to mold. Decreasing Engineering time by over 90 percent in many cases and keeping only the final iterations to go to mold is saving thousands for companies every day!
How do you see the future of AM?
The future of additive manufacturing is as bright as it’s ever been! I truly believe that much like how Steve Jobs predicted that we would all have a computer in our homes, Additive will be in every business. We’re already seeing it in the medical space, aviation, and automotive sectors. Now we’re seeing marketing groups use it to make marketing tools. Hollywood using them to make props, Antique car dealers using them to create outdated car parts, all the way down to dental and medical implants. The possibilities are endless and we are just at the very beginning!