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Saturday, Dec 2, 2023

3-D Goes To the Junk Yard

Leading Role: Dimension SST 1200es. The latest generation of 3-D printers has been credited with revolutionizing design and manufacturing because of their ability to create everything from guns to custom hearing aids. Now they are driving their way into Hollywood. Picture Car Warehouse, a Northridge custom vehicle shop, received a 3-D printer for making emblems, gears, body pieces and other car parts that appear in television shows and feature films. The company received the $34,000 printer about six months ago on loan from it manufacturer, Stratasys Ltd., of Eden Prairie, Minn., which is seeking exposure in Hollywood. The Dimension SST 1200es printer is about the size of a refrigerator and is hooked up to a nearby computer where 3-D computer image files are created for the objects being made. The printer uses cartridges containing polyvinyl chloride that builds layer by layer whatever part is needed to a size no larger than 10 inches in length, 10 inches in width and 12 inches in height. Owner Ted Moser came across the Dimension printer while at a Las Vegas after-market accessories trade show. He figured the printer would be a solution to the challenge of restoring older vehicles sought by production companies. With the 3-D printer, there is no reason to scour the Internet or hunt through junkyards to find parts. So far, the printer has been used to manufacture vents and other pieces for recreational vehicles used in the reality show “Rock My RV,” cup holders in a custom-made car for a Hollywood actor and brackets for a remote controlled car. The printer is operated by Jose Montenegro, who heads up the shop’s graphics department. “It gets challenging with all the curves and angles,” he said. – Mark R. Madler

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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