Altek: 3D Printing Nonstop
April 10, 2020 • Corinne C.
Altek Innovative Manufacturing Solutions works nonstop to provide molds and products to aerospace and medical industries. Altek has been family-owned and operated in Liberty Lake, WA. for 35 years. They’re a certified manufacturer, supplying nationwide.
“Altek is basically split into three working units,” Terry Shields, Altek’s Tooling and Technology Director, explained. “We do plastic injection molding, precision machining of metal parts, and full-blown assembly.”
They also have an internal company called Minds-i that makes equipment for STEM education programs.
In the last year, Altek implemented a Markforged 3D printer to help with production.
“We’re using [the Markforged X7] to print fixtures and work holdings currently,” Shields said, who has the printer in his office. “We worked hard with [Quest Integration] to get this printer in house and it hasn’t stopped running since we put it in. It has taken the place of one whole employee.”
Shields estimates the printer has saved their engineers thousands of hours of work.
Before they got their 3D printer, they were machining all their tools themselves.
“They run the printer all night,” Shields said. “It’s freed up my engineers. They’re more focused on the bigger assembly parts now, and the printer just pops out the components that they need. It enhances what we have going on without adding direct overhead. That’s a big deal.”
Shield says they attend Quest Integration events to see the latest 3D printer technology available to them.
“It’s nice to have you guys so accessible, just five minutes from here,” Shields said. “It’s hard to say where we’re going [with 3D printing], but it is going to continue to grow.”
Contact us if you’re ready to take the next steps in the 3D printer revolution. We can help get you set up with the right solution for your needs.