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Pilot Project Pays Off


Mini Micro Stencil was started in 1994 by Gary Miller and is a veteran-owned, small operation in San Marcos, California. The company provides printed circuit board (PCB) and surface mount technology (SMT) tools as well as contract rework services for the military, aerospace, medical, commercial electronics, and transportation industries. Mini Micro Stencil’s contract rework is a major portion of the company’s revenues and is growing due to increasing military contracts.

The Challenge

Mini Micro Stencil had a strong expertise in 2D Computer Aided Design (CAD) work, allowing them to perform some design work in-house. However, for 3D design work, Gary and his team sought outside resources. Unfortunately, the lead time for outside contractors to perform this work was several days, and Gary had no control over the timing or quality of the work. Gary realized an opportunity to increase profitability and quality control as well as reduce customer lead times by improving his team’s internal 3D design expertise, enabling them to expand their additive manufacturing proficiency for producing tooling needed for their rework services. Mini Micro Stencil turned to CMTC, part of the MEP National Network™, for help.

Our contractors used to take several days to do a 3D design, and now we can do the same work in less than an hour. This project allowed us to do more of our work in-house, saving time and money and making us more competitive.

— Gary Miller, Owner

MEP's Role

In April 2022, Mini Micro Stencil engaged CMTC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Services (AMTS) program to help its employees become more proficient in using 3D design software and additive manufacturing. CMTC instructors provided classroom instruction on the use of the OnShape program and ensured practical applications of the software by offering opportunities for students to design fixtures. In addition, CMTC provided Design for Additive Manufacturing training to help Mini Micro Stencil understand how to utilize advanced manufacturing tools such as 3D printing to produce tooling and products in-house in less time than traditional manufacturing or outsourced manufacturing. Finally, CMTC provided an evaluation of the financial impact and improvement opportunities by incorporating advanced manufacturing into the company’s operations.
Created May 3, 2024