September 29, 2016

3D Printing at Ogden’s WhiteClouds

If you can dream it or draw it, WhiteClouds UT_Stories_3D_Design1can create it for you. WhiteClouds is a 3D printing and design company located in South Ogden. Cris Fowers, Editorial Team Lead, explains that 3D printing is also called additive manufacturing. Instead of starting with a block of wood or metal and carving pieces away – subtractive – 3D makes something from nothing by building in thousands of layers creating an entire object. Materials available for 3D printing include plastics, resins, pliable and stiff rubber, and a sandstone like material that works great for statues and figures and can print in full color. From fanciful to practical 3D printing really is only limited by imagination. Fowers said one man recently brought in a broken part from his refrigerator and WhiteClouds was able to “print” him a new working replacement part. Another lady wanted figurines of her grandchildren and brought in photos. The design team made a 3D file and then printed the figurines.

Jerry Ropelato, WhiteClouds founder

Jerry Ropelato, WhiteClouds founder

Chris Fowers WhiteClouds, Editorial Team Lead

Cris Fowers, Editorial Team Lead

WhiteClouds is able to make detailed products, some with moving parts, due to the quality of their equipment. They use high-end commercial printers, rather than the smaller consumer grade printers. Fowers said their equipment is bigger, more expensive and take a lot of maintenance, but he says the quality of the finished product is well worth it. This is such a new, exciting and innovative technology that WhiteClouds offers tours to school groups or anyone interested in learning more about it. Groups can call ahead and they will make sure that something is being printed to get the full experience. Jerry Ropelato started the company in 2013 and was brainstorming one day on what to call his new company. He remembered looking at up the clouds and putting images to the shapes he saw there. It came to him to call his company WhiteClouds with the idea that if you can imagine it you can create it with 3D print. WhiteClouds is located at 1464 E Ridgeline Dr. Suite 101 South Ogden, UT  84405 www.whiteclouds.com