Flying Through Space with Kapow3D

Posted by Editor On June - 21 - 2016


Nathan Looyenga and Marissa Frosst of Kapow3D

Nathan Looyenga is making an impact in Southern California running Kapow3D. Kapow3D provides scanning, digital modeling, and 3D printing services for Los Angeles-area residents and beyond. Assisted by the capable and curious Marissa Frosst, Looyenga has found that running this business is like flying a ship through spatial realms. He’s delivering one-of-a-kind objects from out of space, so to speak. And one thing Looyenga is learning is that space is time. At Kapow3D, time and space have to both be navigated.

To better imagine Kapow3D, think of the show “Firefly” and the pioneering ship captain Malcolm Reynolds. Cool, calm, collected, and daring — that’s Looyenga. Dashing, even. He’s the sharp-looking man in charge who saw the vision to begin a rapid prototyping business in the arts district of Santa Monica. He’s doing everything from helping motorcycle riders create new visions to designing prosthetic devices to assist injured dogs. It’s all part of a day’s work and it’s an expanding universe daily.

Looyenga began his journey to rapid prototyping through the world of material science. His education in how objects can be articulated in these materials gave him the vision to start his own company. He has an enthusiasm for collaboration and it is easy to see why there are knocks on the door all day long. It’s clear he knows what he is doing. Recently, a world-renown motorcycle racer approached Kapow3D with the request of a radical new design involving the 3D printing process. They also partnered with a nearby dog rescue facility to design prostheses and mobility aids for injured dogs. They do all this with a deft shift of their ship’s gears; a balancing act of objects forming around them. The variety of items coming out of his shop demands a lot of the never-sleeping array of Taz Lulzbot 3D printers he has running around the clock. Helping him in running these workhorses is the smiling Frosst. Frosst joins him as part of an intern program from Toronto’s Ryerson University where she is part of their makerspace team and a general whiz kid. To describe her is to extend the “Firefly” comparison. If Looyenga is Capt. Reynolds, Frosst is Firefly’s mechanic Kaylee Frye.

The ever enthusiastic and knowledgeable Frosst attends to the Taz 5 Series printer’s needs much like the affable Frye kept the Firefly flying through space with an experienced hand and a wholesome heart. It’s clear the power of 3D printing illuminates all of Frosst’s thinking faculties. She’s eager to show off the Formlabs SLA printer as it produces another detailed object and she admits it’s her favorite printer. Have a question on materials? Frosst can quote textbooks at length. Or how about 3D printing in wood? “Yes,” they both say in unison, “it really smells like wood.”


Marissa Frosst holds up a 3D-printed box made from processed wood

They love what they are doing. They are turning time and printer ink into spatial objects, both for prototyping and for end product use because it works well for companies who can take advantage of the low print run values in additive manufacturing. Whether they are making trophies or new toy creations for famous toy designers, they are at it with the drive of pilots light years ahead of the other 3D printing service centers. Do you want to know who that famous toy designer is? So do we. Kapow3D observes strict non-disclosure agreement responsibilities. As you would expect from an honorable Capt. Looyenga, flying through spatial dimensions to safeguard your personal and precious deliveries.

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