3-D Engineering Corporation
part of the action
Friday, September 13th, 2013
Issue 37, Volume 17.
Fallbrook residents and owners of 3-D Engineering Corporation in Temecula, the Luomas have been successfully turning a mind-boggling array of "Can this crazy idea even be done?" product development dreams of major corporations and government institutions into reality since 1998, when Roy first set the companyís gears into motion.
Today, 3-D Engineering Corporation, which relocated from Rancho Bernardo to Temecula in 2005 and provides design development solution partnering along with manufacturing of precision machined parts, is keeping their globally-renowned clients ahead of the ever-increasing pace of the technical innovation curve. And thatís exciting, according to Roy who has been an engineer for 28 years.
"Whatís happening right now in the space industry, the medical industry, aerospace, telecommunications and all kinds of other industries is just amazing," he said. "There are technological game-changers going on everywhere that will transform all those industries. They will transform the way we live with innovations such as being able to permanently change the color of your eyes or using an extreme ultraviolet light source (30 times smaller than commonly used lasers and hundreds of times more intense) which will assist microelectronics manufacturers in developing integrated circuits much smaller and even more powerful than what we see today."
Both Roy, founder and vice-president, and Linda, CEO and president of 3-D Engineering and 3-D Precision Machine, have their feet firmly on the ground when it comes to running both the engineering services and the machining/manufacturing businesses which, with 25 employees, operate synergistically in the same building. But gravity doesnít slow them down when it comes to meeting the project demands of one of their most visionary clients.
Three years ago, 3-D Engineering began a key relationship with SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation), a privately funded American space transport company founded by PayPal and Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk.
SpaceX, the first private company to successfully launch and recover a spacecraft from orbit, made history last year when it sent an unmanned cargo payload to the International Space Station. A second unmanned launch followed to supply the space station and some of 3-D Precision Marchineís components were part of the enterprise.
"Knowing that parts which we produced here at 3-D are up at the space station now is just thrilling for me," said Linda, who manages the human resources, administrative and regulation compliance side of the business. "I love it that we are helping to push technology to the edge of the earth and beyond."
Over the years, 3-DEngineering has accumulated a long list of government agencies and corporate clients on its manifest as well. General Atomics, JPL, CareFusion, Abbott and General Dynamics are just a few of the global giants who have contracted with the Temecula company in addition to other communication, defense, microelectronic, aerospace and medical companies.
The company has turned its attention to navigating human inner space via medical technology too, said Roy, through prototype development and machining of miniature parts for robotic laparoscopic or minimally invasive "keyhole" surgery.
"One of the ways to make robotic laparoscopic surgery even more effective is to have the ability to do in-situ tool changes to assist the surgeon while he or she is doing the surgery via camera monitoring," said Roy. "But because the trocar (the hollow-cylinder instrument medically used to insert a port in the body for laparoscopic surgery) is usually 5mm to 10mm, finding a way to get the tools small enough to fit through the cylinder has been a challenge until now," he added. "Some of the machining for the tools we do for the robotic tools is as tight as two ten-thousands of an inch!"
When asked if there has ever been an engineering challenge that 3-D has had to turn down, both Linda and Roy proudly smiled, shaking their heads "no" at the same time. But it often does take perseverance and patience on the part of clients, said Roy, because they are "investing in us to make their ideas feasible and that can very often take several years because external factors like changes in technology, political support and the environment can affect the process."
One of the shifts in technological development that both Roy and Linda are noticing is an encouraging change in attitude among college students toward engineering, math and other sciences.
"Itís been slow to happen, but we are seeing more young people moving away from getting degrees in business and finance," said Roy, "and more – although not as much as we need in this country – are interested in careers in engineering and math. And still more young people are taking up vocational training and becoming machinists."
The long-term success of 3-D Engineering Corporation is proof that engineering is still very much alive in the American "can do" spirit, said Linda.
"There is a lot of technological innovation going on and I am so glad that 3-D has been and is contributing to that," she said. "Just as with our contribution toward furthering space travel, I feel like the sky is the limit."
3-D Engineering Corporation is located at 42132 Remington Avenue, Temecula, CA 92590. For more information, visit 3deng.com and 3dprecisionmachine.com.
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