Home Back Issues May 2014 The printed world

The printed world

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2014
Monday, April 28, 2014
Article Index
The printed world
Liquid gold

Launch IMG 1610BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Mark and Renee Eaton are manufacturers — and local business owners — at heart. “We had both been through corporate America,” says Renee, 56, a former manager of a Nabisco plant in Pennsylvania and now CEO of RapidMade, a Portland startup that provides rapid prototyping, reverse engineering, 3D printing and 3D scanning services. “We wanted to do something where we could create value and keep it local, hire people and be focused on more than just the next quarter."

The Eatons were also inspired to launch after reading a magazine article about the promise of 3D printing. Housed in the Portland State University business accelerator, RapidMade reproduces to-scale models of industrial equipment — pumps, boilers, container makers — so clients can easily transport samples to trade shows or customer sites.

“We’ve even made miniatures to be used as promotional business card holders,” says Renee, who splits her time between Portland and Baltimore, where the state of Maryland has launched an initiative promoting 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Three-dimensional printers are becoming less expensive, but software and printing materials remain costly, Renee says. “The idea that everyone and their brother are going to have [a 3D printer] in their home … I don’t think it’s going to happen as quickly or to the degree that people think it will.” This slow adoption trend bodes well for RapidMade. Renee declined to reveal revenues, but the startup, funded with the assistance of a $150,000 PDC grant, has about 200 customers, most in Portland. The company experienced significant growth last year and is making inroads in the mid-Atlantic states and Canada. “We’ll expand, but our hearts are in Oregon long-term,” Renee says.


Launch IMG 1560The scoop
“One of the biggest challenges we had was getting people to understand what 3D printing was,” Renee says. “In 3D scanning, you’re taking a physical object and making it a file. Three-dimensional printing is the opposite; you’re taking that file and creating a physical object.”

Family friendly
RapidMade employs four full-time staff, including Renee’s son, Micah Chaban, who serves as operations manager. “Everyone talked about how much harder it was going to be for the next generation to exceed us in terms of their quality of life,” Renee says. “So it’s been really exciting for me to be able to create something with and for the next generation.”



 

More Articles

Gone Fishing

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LORI TOBIAS

Business has been good to Laura Anderson, leading some to suggest she must be awfully lucky to find such success in a business notorious for failure. But luck’s had little to do with it.


Read more...

100 Best Nonprofits announced

News
Thursday, October 02, 2014

100NP14logo4WebOregon Business magazine has named the sixth annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon.


Read more...

Private liberal arts education: superior outcomes, competitive price

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
0826 thumb collegemoneyBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Why has six years become an acceptable investment in public undergraduate education that over-promises and underperforms?


Read more...

A Taste of Heaven

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY

Craft beer comes to Mount Angel.


Read more...

The Backstory

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

In our cover story this month, Wendy Collie, CEO of New Seasons Market, and Kim Malek, owner of Salt & Straw, discuss their rapidly growing businesses and Portland’s red hot food scene. The conversation provides an interesting lens through which to explore trends in the grocery store and restaurant sectors.


Read more...

100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon [VIDEO]

News
Thursday, October 02, 2014

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 11.17.21 AMMore than 5,500 employees from 180 organizations throughout the state participated in the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon project.


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 26, 2014
0926 iphone6-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

This post focuses on the recent release of the new Apple iPhone as well as Alibaba's IPO, the largest U.S. IPO in history.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS