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Adapting Through Innovation

With the help of: Manufacturer's Edge


Faustson Tool is a worldwide leader in manufacturing technology specializing in serving the aeronautics, defense, energy, medical, and semiconductor industries. Based in Arvada, Colorado, with around 20 employees, Faustson has spent the past three decades driving technology forward by diving headfirst into emerging trends and capabilities. In the 1990s, Faustson was one of the first machine shops to adopt and master electrical discharge manufacturing (EDM). In the 2000s, they were on the cutting edge of five-axis milling. It comes as no surprise, then, that they would be on the front lines of their latest obsession: additive manufacturing (AM).

The Challenge

Faustson Vice President Heidi Hostetter wanted to explore the capabilities of 3D metal printing. Hostetter knew that in order to fully invest in AM she would have to help her clients and fellow manufacturers better understand the technology. That's when Hostetter realized she could leverage Faustson’s impressive client-base and key partnerships to form a “bowtie” system to diffuse the cost and the risks associated with experimenting with AM. The “Faustson Bowtie” would allow manufacturers to work alongside government entities, service providers, and academia to establish a neutral research center.
To be a leader in industry and create impact and disruption is hard enough, to do so without Manufacturer’s Edge would be impossible.
— Heidi Hostetter, Vice President

MEP's Role

Faustson brought the bowtie idea to the State of Colorado and eventually to Washington, D.C., before vetting colleges and universities throughout the state to find a good match. The Colorado School of Mines was a natural fit for the academic centerpiece of the puzzle and now officially houses the Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Capabilities, a.k.a. the ADAPT Center. At this point, Faustson contacted Manufacturer’s Edge, part of the MEP National Network™. Hostetter knew that the partnership would provide support, connections, resources, and an important element of neutrality and bipartisanship that would help eliminate the fear of competition in order to foster a truly open environment where experimentation and innovation could flourish. The partnership also paved the way for additional funding resources, including a $2.5 million grant from the State of Colorado. Manufacturer's Edge also provided an important research component by polling Colorado manufacturers to assess specific needs and opportunities. It was through this polling process that the ADAPT Center determined the proper powders to use.

Today, the ADAPT Center is flourishing thanks to the combined efforts of the founding members (Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace, Faustson Tool, Citrine Informatics, Manufacturer’s Edge, Colorado School of Mines, and the State of Colorado), as well as a recent award of $1.5M from the Department of Defense. Faustson is investing in new technologies to increase sales and retain jobs.
Created June 2, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021