Based in Urbandale, Iowa, 3D printer shop HartSmart Products has been operating since 2015. Now, drawing from its experience with various printers and its own print farm, the company has developed an industrial 3D printer dubbed the HSPI-I. This “Made in the USA” product boasts a build volume of 640mm x 650mm x 1,000mm, and is equipped with such features as filtration, dual independent extrusion Tokoto HE20 print heads with Bondtech LGX Pro extruders with 100 watts of heating, mesh and tilt bed leveling, internal filament bays, and linear rails on all axes. With the HSPI-I, HartSmart Products is targeting the aerospace, industrial, and automotive markets, aiming to create both end-use parts and prototypes with a strong emphasis on quality. What’s more, the printer is open, allowing users to choose their preferred slicer and material.
“There are a lot of options out there that are either unreliable or cost-prohibitive. We felt like we could create a reliable prototyping machine made in the USA at a reasonable price to enable more businesses access to rapid prototyping capabilities. With that goal in mind, the HSPI-I development process started, and we’re excited about the end result,” said HartSmart Products CEO Brandon Hart.
The company conveyed to us that this machine is a ‘3D printer made by 3D printers.’ Designed for efficient operation and minimal maintenance, it reflects the company’s goal of enhancing customer service through a domestically crafted product. The concept of a cost-effective, robust manufacturing system resonates with me.
Firms like 3ntr and Filament Innovations are on a similar path. Their systems embody a ‘just shut up and print’ philosophy, devoid of excessive marketing flair or unnecessary features. What they lack in bells and whistles, they make up for in durable, long-lasting components, built from the ground up for manufacturing. In my opinion, the market needs more of these straightforward, reliable systems. Many potential users are simply seeking equipment that delivers consistent, high-throughput, high-yield performance day after day, for years, at a reasonable price. For too long, the focus on aesthetics and margins has overshadowed essential functionality and performance. To me, these unpretentious, efficient systems represent an untapped market with enormous potential.
I’m particularly drawn to the ‘made in the USA and supported in the USA’ aspect. Filament Innovations and re:3D have flourished using a similar strategy, and it’s something enterprise customers appreciate. Businesses seek prompt solutions to problems, and they prefer to put their trust in firms that are either physically close to them or that share a sense of professional alignment.
This approach should present many opportunities for those focusing on domestic production and services in the future. There also exist real subsidies related to reshoring and supply chain sustainability through Biden’s “Made in America” executive order, Inflation Reduction Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and CHIPS Act. With growing concerns about China and tighter restrictions on conducting business with Chinese companies in certain sectors, demand is likely to increase.
The U.S. military is a significant potential market at present. There’s a genuine need for emergency fabrication, rapid iteration, and creative problem-solving in forward operating areas and large overseas bases. At one point, the Army alone might be seeking to purchase numerous machines to distribute in various locations. The Navy is also looking to equip every ship with polymer 3D printers. Capturing this sector would be a tremendous opportunity, especially for a firm specializing in ‘Made in the USA’ 3D printers.