Alcobra Metals: Saving with 3D Printing

Alcobra Metals was founded on helping anyone in need of specialty metals. Based in Spokane, WA., Alcobra has been serving the northwest for thirty years. They’ve grown into an international provider as well. They supply the manufacturing industry, artists and more.

“We offer a wide variety of processing services, such as cutting, water jetting, saw cutting, shearing, plasma cutting and machining,” Alcobra’s Outside Sales Representative, Lucas Beechinor explained.

Alcobra stands out because they don’t require a minimum order for smaller projects. The company’s website even states, “We specialize in hard to find, custom orders.”

One way they can accommodate this is with additive manufacturing. They brought on Markforged and Formlabs to support their mission.

“The Markforged Mark Two and the Formlabs Form 3 have been very beneficial for our machine shop,” Beechinor said.

The first application they used the 3D printers for was creating soft jaws for their machine shops. The part they made had a step feature that’s difficult to machine. But the printer eliminated that challenge altogether.

“[3D] printing the soft jaws was as simple as uploading the file, letting it print overnight, and having the set ready to go the next morning when we started work,” Beechinor said. “This was a huge cost savings in labor hours and a great boost in production time, since we have reduced the down time on our mill by quite a bit.”

Additionally, they’re able to let customers use the 3D printers to create their own fixtures.

“We’ve been able to market the printers as a separate service some of the local machine shops love,” Beechinor said.

They’re thankful that Quest Integration was able to select 3D printers tailored specifically to their needs.

“As a company just breaking into the 3D printing space, we thought the Markforged and Formlabs [printer] would be a good fit because of their relatively low cost, the ease of set up and use, and the versatility of parts they offer,” Beechinor explained.

Contact us so we can help you choose the right additive manufacturing processes for your needs.

Pictures from Alcobra Metals

The Markforged Mark Two and Formlabs Form 3 are included in our Desktop Series Bundle

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