Those digital files, typically consisting of sophisticated computer-aided designs, don’t allow for uncalculated wiggle room. The process like the plastic models that result, is inflexible and uncompromising. What you see on the computer screen is pretty much what you get once the printing is done, which is inherently helpful to engineers, inventors and other customers seeking immediate, tangible feedback on their creations. Nonetheless, the approach is, for the most part (pun intended), rigid.
Those limitations don’t apply to Ken Brace.
Smart move. Since 2004, in his own bit of ingenuity, Brace has engineered his company to become a model itself — one used by area economic developers to showcase the depth of service providers available to prospective companies relocating to the Space Coast.
Or, it can be said that one quick turn by Brace led to many others for his business.
“You can look at something on the computer all day, but until you actually get it in your hand, it’s really a huge difference.”
His equipment consists of five large Stratasys Ltd. 3D printers, able to run 24 hours per day, if necessary. With no employees, Brace says he’s continually able to reinvest in equipment, with Stratasys being the recognized leader in 3D printers and production systems for office-based rapid prototyping and direct digital manufacturing. When his previous business sold, Brace’s company had approximately $5 million in machinery. That knowledge of equipment has proved invaluable, he added.
Notably, Brace also has done his share of donating equipment. As one example, he gave a group of young UCF engineers three 3D printers to help advance its work in adolescent prosthetics. That group, now well-known as Limbitless Solutions, has won international acclaim. “I’ve met some of the kids who are showing off their new arms, and it just gives you the chills,” Brace said, simply.
These days, Brace is in a good place. More exactly, Brace says he’s in the right place at the right time.