Glen Warner sold his first 3-D Printer at the 2014 Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire. The night before, his first and only model caught on fire and he stayed up all night rebuilding it. Even with this set back, people were impressed. He started his business, Gorilla Maker, while working to find a creative solution for a company that needed 3 replacement parts for their equipment. When he went to order the parts, the supplier told him he would need to order a brand new piece of equipment and was unable to buy the parts separately. Buying this piece of equipment was too expensive, so he told the company he could make the parts himself. He then went out and bought his first 3-D printer. After printing one of the parts, however, the machine broke down. He bought another one, and it broke down again. He bought a third one after that, it broke down, and then realized that there were no reliable 3-D printers on the market and set out to build his own.
Three years later, the first printer he built has printed over 14,000 hours’ worth of creations. Glen and the Gorilla Maker Team have developed different 3-D printer models that are used for many different purposes. Their smaller model is sold mainly to high schools, while their larger model is sold to research companies, labs, and organizations like NASA. They all can use multiple materials but mainly use a PLA plastic which can be shaped and formed into tools, figurines and more. You can even contact them with a design idea and they will print it for you.
The Gorilla Makers goal is to help people with their printers and to have fun. One of their favorite things to print are prosthetics for children and their favorite activity they participate in is interacting with students. During the school year, they recruit local junior and senior high school students to come to his manufacture and learn about 3-D printers. These students hear about the Gorilla Maker story, and become inspired.
At this year’s Mini Maker Faire, Gorilla Maker will have three 3-D printers simultaneously printing. Their large 3-D printer will complete a 4 foot tall model in about 6 hours, and attendees can come watch this printer in action. Each person who stops by their booth will receive a free 3-D printed mini-gorilla and will have the opportunity to take a picture with a #GoateeOnAStick.
In the future, Gorilla Makers plan to open up their own maker space, lab, and showroom where people can interact with 3-D printers. Until then, you can find Gorilla Maker at the 2017 Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire on July 7 and 8. To learn more about their company you can visit their website, and to stay updated with them you can visit their Facebook page.