BW Sessions: MasterGraphics

BW Sessions: MasterGraphics


Not long ago, printers and scanners were relegated to the priority bin of 'necessary but frustrating' office fixtures that could unexpectedly derail someone's work schedule by launching a search for replacement ink cartridges or, God forbid, exposing the need for a long overdue service call. All of us needed them, but they were the moody co-workers we preferred to avoid.

Today, though, a new wave of higher tech printers and scanners are improving their reliability (and social skills) and winning over skeptics in the workplace. As a result, 3D printers and laser scanners now are figuring more prominently in everyday operations, challenging industry standards with fast-evolving technology. Among the leaders in this office innovation is Waukesha WI-based MasterGraphics. Its simple yet ambitious slogan: "We make design data work." 

MasterGraphcs Logo.jpg

MasterGraphics, founded in 1949 as a blueprinting service, currently operates as a design and manufacturing solution that leverages 3D printing and laser scanning technologies to streamline design processes, utilizing CAD data to increase productivity and reduce cost.

Laser Scanning

3D scanners, or laser scanners, were first introduced to the global market 15 years ago where any image capture required significant memory capacity and multiple months of data processing.  Despite significant technological advancements since its inception, MasterGraphics are still busy educating the industry on the benefits of this breakthrough capability.  Explains Kevin Carr, general manager of MasterGraphics, “3D scanning processes aren’t instantaneous, so traditional general contractors don’t see the immediate payoff.  However, we’re seeing a shift in the industry that is starting to focus on data and leveraging new technology to gather that data.”

So what’s the payoff?

For any company who relies on accurate measurements, 3D scanning takes 60% less time than traditional measuring processes, asserts Carr.  Furthermore, these images can be stitched together and imported into CAD models, providing accurate and timely information to designers and building occupants about actual project conditions.  3D scanning is common amongst niche communities; facility groups, owners, specialty contractors and a few progressive general contractors, however, Carr is confident that this boutique offering will soon become mainstream.

3D Printing

“Not evolving quite as quickly as laser scanning, 3D printing has become the topic of discussion within the past decade,” explains Carr.  “In the last 8 years, the built environment has embraced prefabrication and modularization, where companies need to develop systems in-house for assembly on-site. 3D printing helps make that possible.”

Outside of modular design and construction, a strong emphasis has been placed on visualization technology.  Between virtual reality, augmented reality and video game technology, 3D printing has a lot of competition.  MasterGraphics has seen the most success within the manufacturing world.  “We’re in an age where visualizations are so advanced, 3D models aren’t always required.  But as far as seeing how things piece together, or making sure collaboration is optimized, a physical, a 3D model is vital, “ continues Carr.

3D Printing | Uploaded by MasterGraphicsInc on 2014-04-28.

MasterGraphics’ overall vision is to leverage available technologies to create a more efficient building environment.  As a result, and outside of their palette of imaging services (3D printing and laser scanning), MasterGraphics provides CAD and Autodesk solutions for architects, engineers and general contractors.  As Carr points out, “in the construction industry, everyone does their own thing.  And we want them to know that re-inventing the wheel isn’t the shortest path to success.”



Karl Sorensen

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