What inspired us to acquire a 3D printer?

30 September 2016

For many years I’ve been inspired by 3D printing. I first encountered a 3D printer back in 2000 when I was visiting some high tech manufactures, they had already started using this technology for their design and development work. Wow, I was impressed!

The Makerbot Replicator The mini 3D-printer

In 2009 I was in San Francisco on a holiday and like everyone I visited Pier 39 with some friends. We stumbled on a smartphone shop selling all sorts of wonderful gadgets including a mini 3D printer. I was so intrigued with this mini 3D printer. I started having all sorts of ideas with this little printer. The cost was then $600, yes an expensive toy but it would be fun.

As the years went by, moving into 2013, when Indutrade asked me to take on the company Alcatraz Interlocks BV as its Managing Director. Seeing how all the interlocks were being manufactured and the design work that went into designing the mounting kits along with special designs based on our clients requests, I started thinking about my old friend the 3D printer.

Print the legend

In 2015 I happen to find a Netflix documentary about 3D printers. The documentary was called “Print The Legend”. After watching this documentary, about the start-up company and design of the 3D printer called Makerbot, I was so impressed I further investigated this company. I found out that this was a company that simply wanted the best possible technology all wrapped up in an affordable package, so normal businesses can afford it to buy one.

That same year I visited a company in the UK called Rotork. I met the Senior Design Manager and low and behold they were using the 3D printer make Makerbot.

The Makerbot Replicator

Well this spurred me on to now take this all the way and purchase our very own 3D printer: Makerbot type Replicator. I discussed this with our Technical Manager Mr. Dennis de Vries, who has been working with Solid Works Professional for many years. I asked him to also have a look at this, which he did and informed me that this is a perfect 3D printer. It communicates perfectly with Solid Works Professional and he was very enthusiastic about this opportunity to further develop the Alcatraz Interlocks product line.

So that said Alcatraz is now a proud user of the Makerbot Replicator. We already have developed some amazing new products that we will launch on our web site very soon. So stay tuned. 

Lester Millard


Stedenbaan 6
5121 DP Rijen
The Netherlands

Phone: +31 76 514 7172
Fax: +31 76 522 5296


Safety by design