Merit3D brings Manufacturing back home through mass production in Additive Manufacturing

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Aditya Chandavarkar
Aditya Chandavarkar is a established entrepreneur with business interests in manufacturing, innovative technology, training and consulting. Among other activities he the Co-Founder of Indian 3D Printing Network and is a subject matter expert on 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing with good grasp of Additive Manufacturing trends in the Region including India, APAC, Middleeast and Africa.
Vaishali Heblekar

An experienced content writer with a strong background in communications and branding. Vaishali also brings with her work experience in Corporate Communications in the manufacturing industry. Skilled in corporate and creative content writing, proof-reading and editing. Also adept at translation from Hindi and/or Marathi to English. Strong communication professional with a masters from Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai.

Merit3D is a mass production supplier for 3D printed parts that develops and meets high quality standards of producing plastic parts for a variety of uses in manufacturing, production, and product promotion. Merit3D owns a world record for the most 3D printed parts in 8 hours

In a Nutshell

The roots of Merit3D lie in the classic story of an innovative man who had a problem to solve, and so he applied his experience of making things in his garage and became a pioneer in the dust control industry.

Merit3D was started out of a necessity for Dustless Technologies to be able to manufacture their own parts in-house. Much of what was needed to assemble the vacuums and other products for Dustless required overseas produced products made using the tedious process of injection moulding. Ordering these parts was problematic to say the least and over the last few years has only been compounded due to global pandemics, trade embargos, wars, and supply-chain issues.

Dustless decided to invest in some 3D printers to skip the moulding process and become very agile and quick to market with their products. While expanding their own products, other companies learned what they were doing which sparked the need to start Merit3D. Merit3D was officially added to the Loveless family in 2020. It is a mass production supplier for 3D printed parts that develops and meets high quality standards of producing plastic parts for a variety of uses in manufacturing, production, and product promotion. The mission is to bring manufacturing back to the United States, for companies in the United States and provide higher paying job opportunities in rural communities.

Brains behind this

Mike Loveless was a simple man from the historic, coal mining town of Price, Utah. Coal and wood burning stoves were common sources of heat in the late 1980s but it required daily cleaning. This consisted of a shovel, a metal bucket, gloves, and a strained back and usually resulted in a plume of dust in the air and all over the carpet. Mike was an experienced diesel mechanic and knew his way around tools and creative solutions to problems. He eventually figured out a way to use a regular vacuum to create suction into a fire-retardant basin outside his home and the seeds for Loveless Ash were planted. Family and friends began asking him to make them one. Mike and his wife Colleen saw the opportunity to make a business out of it. Colleen became the grounded, business mind in getting the things going, while Mike was the inventor and innovator. They both worked together to market and sell their products.

Mike was able to obtain several patents on his products and eventually saw a need to clean more than just ash. Regulations in dust control were creeping into construction, mining, manufacturing, and any other trade that grinds, sands, cuts, or breaks. Dustless Technologies became a needs-based addition to the family business and has become the mainstay of the company. Dustless Technologies not only builds dust control vacuums but also has a variety of shrouds, filters, and accessories in their product line-up.

Mike and Colleen’s son Spencer had grown up within this business and after graduating from college, had begun working alongside his dad in creating and expanding the business portfolio of products. But in 2008, an unexpected tragedy took the life of Mike and left Colleen and Spencer to carry on the business and Mike’s big dreams.

The Before and The After

Rural Economic Challenges

Rural communities face many challenges that urban centers don’t. These include higher unemployment rates, lower income levels, economic diversification, supply chain issues, and lower education and experience levels. In Utah, many small communities rely on one or two major industries to supply a majority of the jobs and often, these industries are travel and tourism, retail, and other service industries. Most of these jobs are lower paying, entry-level positions. Manufacturing is most often an industry that increases job opportunities and allows for higher wages for its workers. Merit3D has added many jobs to the local market that are above the average wage in the county.

Global Disruption to Supply

The supply chain crisis has impacted businesses around the world. The Russia-Ukraine conflict, wider geopolitical implications and renewed COVID-19 lockdowns in China have compounded an already bleak global supply-chain situation. Existing restrictions imposed on Russia and the potential for further restrictions continue to impact fuel costs, contributing to the wider supply chain crisis. While freight markets have limited direct exposure to Russia and Ukraine, global logistics will have to contend with an increasing number of risk factors, including restrictions to airspace, uncertainty on the future path of consumer demand and ongoing bottlenecks related to COVID-19 response.

Merit3D has a mission to reduce the dependency on the global supply-chain by producing products in a more efficient manner, locally, and without the need to rely on foreign suppliers. Customers also benefit from additive manufacturing because they too skip the global supply-chain problems.

Faster Concept to Market

Additive manufacturing has become a major technological breakthrough for many companies and industries because of its versatile design tools, lower cost equipment, and capabilities to prototype in-house. Across applications, 3D printing has addressed delays in development that injection moulding and overseas manufacturing presents.

Technology

Merit3D uses developing technologies in additive manufacturing, working to bring lower overall cost (no tooling needed), rapid prototyping techniques, faster design cycles, and increased design opportunities.

Some of their major accomplishments are:

  • Set a world record for the most 3D printed parts in 8 hours – Produced 60,000+ binocular theatres in under eight hours. They were delivered to the customer, the same day before closing time.
  • Launched the first 3D printed products to be put on mass retailer’s shelves – In addition to producing products for Dustless, which retail at various locations, including White Cap Construction Supply, products made for Phoneskope are sold on the retailer shelves of Cabelas, Bass Pro Shop, and Sportsman’s Warehouse.
  • So far, Merit3D has helped to re-shore $500K in products that normally would be made overseas.
  • Added many manufacturing and other administration related jobs in a rural city of just over 8,300 people with a struggling economy and little industry diversification.

In a bid to grow their business, they are looking for more cases where companies want to skip injection moulding, skip overseas purchasing, and make their products closer to home. Reshoring products and jobs back into the US, benefits the local economy and creates a stronger economy. If there is a project you wish to bring closer to yourself, please contact Merit3D and they would be happy to evaluate your ideas.

Contact Details

Send a message on www.merit3d.com

https://www.dustlesstools.com/dustless-company-story.php

A Quick Recap

  • The roots of Merit3D lie in the classic story of an innovative man who had a problem to solve, and so he applied his experience of making things in his garage and became a pioneer in the dust control industry.
  • Merit3D was started out of a necessity for Dustless Technologies to be able to manufacture their own parts in-house. Much of what was needed to assemble the vacuums and other products for Dustless required overseas produced products made using the tedious process of injection moulding.
  • Ordering these parts was problematic to say the least and over the last few years has only been compounded due to global pandemics, trade embargos, wars, and supply-chain issues.
  • Dustless decided to invest in some 3D printers to skip the moulding process and become very agile and quick to market with their products.
  • While expanding their own products, other companies learned what they were doing which sparked the need to start Merit3D.
  • Merit3D was officially added to the Loveless family in 2020. It is a mass production supplier for 3D printed parts that develops and meets high quality standards of producing plastic parts for a variety of uses in manufacturing, production, and product promotion. The mission is to bring manufacturing back to the United States, for companies in the United States and provide higher paying job opportunities in rural communities.
  • Mike Loveless was a simple man from the historic, coal mining town of Price, Utah. Mike was an experienced diesel mechanic and knew his way around tools and creative solutions to problems. He eventually figured out a way to use a regular vacuum to create suction into a fire-retardant basin outside his home and the seeds for Loveless Ash were planted.
  • Family and friends began asking him to make them one. Mike and his wife Colleen saw the opportunity to make a business out of it. Colleen became the grounded, business mind in getting the things going, while Mike was the inventor and innovator. They both worked together to market and sell their products.
  • Mike was able to obtain several patents on his products and eventually saw a need to clean more than just ash. Regulations in dust control were creeping into construction, mining, manufacturing, and any other trade that grinds, sands, cuts, or breaks.
  • Dustless Technologies became a needs-based addition to the family business and has become the mainstay of the company. Dustless Technologies not only builds dust control vacuums but also has a variety of shrouds, filters, and accessories in their product line-up.
  • Mike and Colleen’s son Spencer had grown up within this business and after graduating from college, had begun working alongside his dad in creating and expanding the business portfolio of products. But in 2008, an unexpected tragedy took the life of Mike and left Colleen and Spencer to carry on the business and Mike’s big dreams.
  • Many challenges plague the rural communities such as higher unemployment rates, lower income levels, economic diversification, supply chain issues, and lower education and experience levels. In Utah, many small communities rely on one or two major industries to supply a majority of the jobs and often, these industries are travel and tourism, retail, and other service industries. Most of these jobs are lower paying, entry-level positions. Manufacturing is most often an industry that increases job opportunities and allows for higher wages for its workers.
  • Merit3D has added many jobs to the local market that are above the average wage in the county.
  • The supply chain crisis has impacted businesses around the world. While freight markets have limited direct exposure to Russia and Ukraine, global logistics will have to contend with an increasing number of risk factors, including restrictions to airspace, uncertainty on the future path of consumer demand and ongoing bottlenecks related to COVID-19 response.
  • Merit3D has a mission to reduce the dependency on the global supply-chain by producing products in a more efficient manner, locally, and without the need to rely on foreign suppliers. Customers also benefit from additive manufacturing because they too skip the global supply-chain problems.
  • Additive manufacturing has become a major technological breakthrough for many companies and industries because of its versatile design tools, lower cost equipment, and capabilities to prototype in-house. Across applications, 3D printing has addressed delays in development that injection moulding and overseas manufacturing presents.
  • Merit3D is a small-town company that is now producing parts mostly for local businesses but has sold products all over the world.
  • The impact of jobs in larger urban areas is a big boost for the local economy and builds opportunities for other small businesses in their area.
  • Businesses that have been ordering parts from injection moulding manufacturers, mostly in China, are recognizing the cost savings of additive manufacturing done in the US.
  • They are skipping the delays and costs of international shipping.
  • Products can be designed, developed, tested, manufactured, and on the market in weeks, instead of months or years, as is found with injection moulding.
  • In-house designers and engineers can help with concepts and develop a prototype within weeks. Bottlenecks one may experience from ordering parts from overseas, can be evaluated to see if there is an alternative 3D printed replacement.
  • Due to the global pandemic, unrest, and natural disasters in the last couple of years, the global market has been drastically impacted forcing businesses to seek a more local solution to product development and acquisition. Merit3D is leading the charge in Utah, in the US, and abroad in manufacturing parts closer to home.
  • In addition, many parts for their partner company, Dustless, are produced in-house reducing costs and making product development more versatile.
  • They give back to the community by partnering with local college and high schools to offer internships in design and manufacturing to students interested in CAD, engineering, business, and production.
  • Since its beginning, the Loveless family of companies has relied mostly on organic growth and expansion. Merit3D is no exception.
  • Dustless has been a profitable business for years and the natural progression into additive manufacturing has saved the parent company significant costs and has quickly become a profitable venture in its own right.
  • Some of their major accomplishments are – setting a world record for the most 3D printed parts in 8 hours, launched the first 3D printed products to be put on mass retailer’s shelves, helped to re-shore $500K in products that normally would be made overseas, and added many manufacturing and other administration related jobs in a rural city of just over 8,300 people with a struggling economy and little industry diversification.
  • In a bid to grow their business, they are looking for more cases where companies want to skip injection moulding, skip overseas purchasing, and make their products closer to home.
  • Reshoring products and jobs back into the US, benefits the local economy and creates a stronger economy.

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Author Profile

Aditya Chandavarkar
Aditya Chandavarkar is a established entrepreneur with business interests in manufacturing, innovative technology, training and consulting. Among other activities he the Co-Founder of Indian 3D Printing Network and is a subject matter expert on 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing with good grasp of Additive Manufacturing trends in the Region including India, APAC, Middleeast and Africa.
Vaishali Heblekar
Content Curator at

An experienced content writer with a strong background in communications and branding. Vaishali also brings with her work experience in Corporate Communications in the manufacturing industry. Skilled in corporate and creative content writing, proof-reading and editing. Also adept at translation from Hindi and/or Marathi to English. Strong communication professional with a masters from Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai.