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WKBN: Humtown Products adds more 3-D printing

Humtown Products adds more 3-D printing
By Miriam Hobbs | WKBN
Thursday, February 20, 2014

COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – A Columbiana manufacturing company has added more 3-D printing technology.

Humtown Products recently invested in its first production grade 3-D printer, making it one of a few companies in the Valley using the cutting-edge manufacturing method. For the past 18 months, the company has used a much smaller, desktop 3-D printer to manufacture products for a number of different industries, including the railroad and automobile industries.

“There are ways that parts can be made now that were never able to be made under conventional pattern making in the past,” said Humtown Products president Mark Lamoncha.

“If we have an engineer that designs a component for a customer, we’re now able to have rapid prototypes delivered in less than a matter of hours, where it used to take weeks or months to accumulate that tool,” said sales manager Brandon Lamoncha. “We can actually take a design that an engineer has from a 2-D drawing and bring that into a three-dimensional CAD, and then send the program to a printer and actually print components.”

In addition to being more efficient, the additive manufacturing method also is much less expensive than a conventional printing method.

The company is looking to hire employees in the near future to work on this equipment. They’re currently working with Youngstown State University and the Youngstown Business Incubator to train and prepare students at YSU.

But they’re not only looking for college graduates.

“We can definitely use students that are out of vocational schools or tech schools. We also would be interested in training some students right out of high school,” Brandon Lamoncha said.

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel toured the company on Thursday, saying he believes manufacturing is the backbone of Ohio’s economy.

“We need to bring high school guidance counselors into manufacturing operations like this, and show them what’s happening. Show them that their students, with the right training and education, can have high-paying, fun, purposeful jobs in manufacturing,” Mandel said.

The Youngstown Business Incubator  is working with a group of companies to develop a curriculum for YSU to train students for these jobs.

On Wednesday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he wants to expand vocational education to middle school students. He plans to give more details on his plan during Monday’s State of the State address.
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