The Revolution of Prototyping: My 30-Year Adventure with 3D Printing

Les Egan


Ah, the memories! Over my 30-year roller coaster of a journey as an engineer, I’ve seen prototyping change its colours more often than a chameleon. From painstakingly hand-crafted models that took ages to tweak to the magic of 3D printing, it’s been a wild ride. And speaking as someone who’s ridden this wave for three decades, let me spill the beans: 3D printing didn’t just make a splash in the prototyping world—it cannonballed right into the deep end!

Think back to a time when creating a prototype was like baking a cake without a recipe. You mixed a bit of elbow grease, sprinkled in some costly tooling, and crossed your fingers, hoping the design wouldn’t ask you to start from scratch. Those were the days when every little change meant more hours at the workshop, biting nails, and sipping countless cups of coffee.

Then, as if out of a sci-fi novel, 3D printing waltzed on to the scene!

Speed and Agility: Suddenly, what once took weeks was being whipped up overnight. Imagine going to bed with just a digital design and waking up to a physical prototype! No more drumming fingers waiting for results.

Cost Efficiency: And oh, the savings! With 3D printing, we said goodbye to pricey moulds made for one-off prototypes. For someone always counting pennies and budgets (like me!), this was a dream come true.

Boundless Creativity: The best part? Designs that once got the “too complex to build stamp were now fair game. Thanks to 3D printing, we were crafting designs that would’ve been labelled ‘wizardry’ not too long ago.

Iterative Perfection: Mistakes? No problem! A quick rejig and a sprint to the 3D printer, and voila! Iterations became as easy as pie, ensuring our end product was as close to perfection as possible.

Thinking back, it’s incredible to see how far we’ve come. The strides 3D printing brought to the prototyping table makes the old-school methods feel like tales from a bygone era. And while I’m always excited to see where technology will take us next, 3D printing holds a special place in my engineer’s heart.

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Mint Tek 3D Printed Box

Mint Tek 3D Printed Box