Student makes leap in 3D manufacturing

An aerospace engineering student at UC Irvine has launched his own company after inventing a new kind of machine to manufacture 3D customized parts.

Landon Williams’ computer numerical control (CNC) machine cuts and etches away at metal, plastic, foam or wax to create products of almost any shape.

CNC machines usually use three axes, but Williams added two more for improved precision. He received a student startup fund from UCI Beall Applied Innovation to build his machine.

“One of my personal philosophies now is ‘don’t go after low-hanging fruit,’ ” Williams says. “If I just settled for something easier, none of this would’ve happened.”