Home / 3D Printing / Meet Tom Helsley, the 2016 Rapid Ready Sweepstakes Winner

Meet Tom Helsley, the 2016 Rapid Ready Sweepstakes Winner

The 2016 Rapid Ready Sweepstakes winner Tom Helsley with the Stratasys Mojo printer he won.

The 2016 Rapid Ready Sweepstakes winner Tom Helsley with the Stratasys Mojo printer he won.

When Tom Helsley received a notice from DE informing him he’d just won a Mojo 3D printer, he assumed the email was either spam or scam. He had good reasons to be suspicious.

“I’d never won anything before,” he said.

But a visit to DE‘s website jogged his memory. He finally remembered he’d filled out an entry form to the DE Rapid Ready Sweepstakes, sponsored by Stratasys.

He’s now the proud owner of a Stratasys Mojo 3D printer and a starter kit, a combo with an estimated retail value of $8,900.

Tom is no stranger to additive manufacturing (AM). As a project engineer and CAD administrator at Hartwell Corp., he has access to a range of rapid prototyping technologies, including a Fortus 3D printer, also from Stratasys.

“But the machine is housed in another building a block away, so it’s not so easy to get to,” Tom says. “That’s why, when I saw the sweepstakes announcement, I thought it’d be perfect if I could have another machine in our building, close to where we do our design work.”

With a printer close by, Tom says he and his colleagues plan to print and test out many small parts during their design iterations. “We won’t have to wait for a big print job to finish before we can print ours,” he said.

The Mojo printer arrived during the holiday lull at work, but that didn’t stop Tom from putting it to good use for his household.

A CAD user by profession, Tom quickly designed and printed a protective housing for his aerial drone after receiving his printer.

A CAD user by profession, Tom quickly designed and printed a protective housing for his aerial drone after receiving his printer.

He knows his way around SolidWorks and Onshape CAD systems, so he can fire up a modeling program to design something quickly to print. So far, he’s replaced the missing turning knobs on his stereo with brand new 3D printed ones he designed. He has also designed and printed a protective housing unit for his $1,000 aerial done, the DJI Mavic Pro. These are things he couldn’t go out and buy from a local electronics store.

“My son is taking a 3D modeling class in his middle school where they’ll be designing something to print on the school’s 3D printers,” Tom reveals. “But it’s a class of 30 kids, queuing up to print on two printers. So, when my son’s design is ready, I can bypass the school queue and print it on my Mojo. Actually, I’ll have my son do it so he learns how to print.”

Rapid Ready Sweepstakes winner Tom Helsley printed the housing unit for his drone by splitting it into two halves.

Rapid Ready Sweepstakes winner Tom Helsley printed the housing unit for his drone by splitting it into two halves.

The other day, his daughter’s doll — a character from the Disney film Frozen — suffered a tragedy. Her head fell off. This may give Tom the chance to be the hero. He can come to the distressed doll’s rescue with a 3D printed solution.

“Maybe I can print a little part with a bigger surface area so I can glue the head back on her doll,” he says.

Tom says he’s a bit of a handyman at home. Previous to the Mojo’s arrival, his fixes were limited to what he could do with ready-made parts purchased from the stores. “Now, I’m thinking, I can just model whatever part I need and get it printed,” he said.

Visit sweepstakes sponsor Stratasys for more information on the Mojo printer.

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About Kenneth

Kenneth Wong has been a regular contributor to the CAD industry press since 2000, first an an editor, later as a columnist and freelance writer for various publications. During his nine-year tenure, he has closely followed the migration from 2D to 3D, the growth of PLM (product lifecycle management), and the impact of globalization on manufacturing. His writings have appeared in Cadalyst, Computer Graphics World, and Manufacturing Business Technology, among others.

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