This 3-D Printed Icelandic Fish-Gutting Machine Contains the Secret of a Future, Less-Globalized Economy
Tucked away in a nondescript 10,000-square-foot building there is a manufacturing facility that runs 24/7, producing parts for fish-processing machines in a way that was, even a few years ago, impossible. Elliði Hreinsson, the founder of Curio, which owns the building, says the machines he designs and makes would be difficult or in some cases impossible to produce without 3-D printing.
“In Iceland, we are a small stone in the ocean, and we cannot so easily run around to get help,” says Mr. Hreinsson. “You have to be able to do it all in-house.” His machines, which he sells to clients around the world, include more than 100 parts that he prints on seven 3-D printers made by a company called Desktop Metal. Printing the stainless-steel parts this way skips all the steps required for conventional manufacturing, from prototyping to casting or injection molding—the last of which generally happens in Asia, and can add weeks or months to the time between product design and delivery.