QU-BD of Little Rock Makes 3-D Printing Accessible

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 12:00 am  

Editor's Note: We've published an update to this story. Click here.

If you want to see innovation in the rapidly changing world of 3-D printing, look no further than Little Rock.

The process known as 3-D printing, whereby complex machines use heated plastic or other materials to build objects, has been around for many years, but the technology is just now beginning to settle to the point where it’s becoming accessible to “normal” people.

Companies like Makerbot have simplified the technology enough to where a printer might cost as little as $1,300. But one group in Arkansas has managed to create and market a printer that costs no more than $200.

QU-BD — pronounced “cubed” and standing for “Quintessential Universal Building Device” — was co-founded by Nathan Myers and David Mainard in Little Rock.

“When David and I met, he was running a machine shop,” Myers said. “We shared a parking lot. He was a couple bay doors down from me.”

Myers had experience in building and selling by way of peddling race car components out of his garage, and he had dabbled in real estate development and investment banking. Mainard had worked in machining with Halliburton for 35 years and already owned some machining equipment.

The pair decided to “seize the day,” meeting over a whiteboard to brainstorm.

First Shots

What turned out to be their first outing actually had nothing to do with 3-D printers. Instead, it was a miniature black powder cannon that fires BB pellets.

Inspired by a YouTube video, the pair established a company, Pocket Artillery LLC, and began selling the cannons for about $35 each through Amazon.com.

They were able to rent space at a warehouse in southwest Little Rock that once was home to an Anheuser-Busch operation.

 

 

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