JESSUP, Md. (WJZ) — Three-dimensional printers are popping up across the country and in Maryland. They’re sparking a boost in business for small companies.

It’s cutting-edge technology that could draw more entrepreneurs to Maryland.

Gigi Barnett has more on the new program.

Armed with large state-of-the-art 3D printers that create highly detailed parts, workers at UAV Solutions in Jessup have helped the Department of Defense make unmanned aircraft.

Instead of buying costly parts for models, UAV simply prints them.

“Not having to wait weeks or months to make parts and provide that to my customer, I can do it the next day, is almost priceless,” said Bill Davidson, President, UAV Solutions.

Three-dimensional printers are fast becoming the future of manufacturing, and businesses are catching on.

Engineers can create almost anything, from sculptures to body parts.

“You’ll pop these off of this plate and then this is your end use parts,” Davidson said.

That’s why Howard County is launching a statewide program called “3D Maryland” for potential business owners who have the talent, but lack the dollars for 3D printers.

“If you have a new idea for a product or if you’re an existing company and you think you can get into a new business line, but you don’t have the resources to afford all of this equipment, you could go and essentially play with a new prototype,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.

County leaders say 3D printers will bring more small businesses to Maryland. UAV, when it started in 2006, had four workers. Today, it has 52.

“When you talk about a small company like us or a small entrepreneur having this technology, it levels the playing field for them,” said Davidson.

UAV says its budget for parts has dropped by 10 to 15 percent since switching to 3D printers.

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