Terry Hill is a U.S. veteran and entrepreneur who was so convinced of the value of additive manufacturing that he resigned from his job after the Army to prove its potential. In 2017 he founded Rapid Application Group, LLC, out of his home office. Since opening its doors, the company has grown exponentially, experiencing 300% growth in its second year to become one of Oklahoma’s fastest growing companies.
Rapid Application Group is a full production additive manufacturing service bureau providing mission-critical and time-sensitive support to customers in the oil, gas, motorsports, healthcare and aerospace and defense sectors. Based in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, the service bureau has over 25 years of collective experience in additive manufacturing and is a subject matter expert in Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Digital Light Printing (DLP), MultiJet Printing (MJP) and Direct Metal Printing (DMP) with supplemental access to a complete range of additive manufacturing technologies through 3D Systems On Demand. Prior to founding Rapid Application Group, Hill spent 13 years in the U.S. Army as an engineer and aviator, and Rapid Application Group is a certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business.
Given the incredible growth of the business, Hill began looking for a cost-effective way to increase his production capacity. He cites the purchase of 3D Systems’ Figure 4™ technology as a game-changing decision for the success of his business. In addition to ease of operation and the ability to produce fast, reliable output at low cost, Figure 4 Standalone paid for itself and doubled Rapid Application Group’s production capacity for high quality small parts in just a few months.
Figure 4 Standalone delivers ROI within months of installation
Rapid Application Group’s motivation behind purchasing the Figure 4 Standalone was driven by the desire to costeffectively increase capacity while maintaining part quality. In selecting which machine to bring on, Hill looked at speedto-market, repeatability, part surface finish, and system cost. After seeing Figure 4 at the Rapid + TCT trade show, Hill said his decision was a “no brainer.” According to Hill, the things that first impressed him about the machine were how compact, powerful and moveable it was. “I wanted something that I could possibly move into a different area or add onto,” he says. “It was an easy purchase decision.”
Within a few hours of unboxing, Rapid Application Group was up and running. Figure 4 can be calibrated to achieve the tolerance requirements for six sigma repeatability.
“The repeatability of Figure 4 is a big deal for me,” says Hill. “I know that I can load a file and walk away, and when I come back the parts will be exactly like the print before, which is critical to maintaining our quality standards and production schedules. The Figure 4 Standalone doubled our capacity on highly detailed small parts and paid for itself within a matter of months.”