Titan Gilroy, now a manufacturing entrepreneur, overcame tremendous obstacles – including homelessness, abuse and prison time – to achieve success. This fall, his inspirational life story will be documented in a reality TV series, including the introduction of 3D printing services to his machine shop.
During Gilroy’s difficult youth, art was an escape. His natural artistic abilities were nurtured by his first job, at a machine shop. “I had never seen CNC machines and knew absolutely nothing about manufacturing. Working in a small shop, producing cool parts for many companies including Siemens, BMW & NASA, I just kind of stepped into my destiny. I was put in front of a CNC machine and was given instructions,” Gilroy recounts. “My art changed from a canvas to a block of metal and my aggressiveness gave me a natural instinct to push the machines.” Within six months, Gilroy was promoted to shop foreman, leading far more experienced machinists.
Gilroy opened his own machine shop, Titan America MFG, ten years ago, and prides himself on accepting challenging and complex projects. “Knowing that our parts are going to space is just awesome. I was homeless on the beach as a child and now make parts that go to the deepest parts of the ocean and up into space and everywhere in between.”
Beginning in October 2014, Gilroy will be featured in a new television series on MAVTV, TITAN – American Built. As part of the program, GoEngineer, one of the program’s sponsors, loaned Gilroy a Fortus 250mc 3D Printer from Stratasys. “I am excited to begin my journey into the world of 3D printing and consider myself fortunate to be starting this journey early, as this technology is getting ready to explode,” Gilroy says.
Gilroy anticipates the addition of 3D printing will compliment his current CNC offerings. “My CNC machines have lead-times of 1 – 12 weeks for just one part depending on my work load and the complexity of the part. My customers can send me a 3D CAD file, and I can start the 3D printing process immediately and have it run all night to deliver it in the morning. They can use the part or double check form and function. I will be using the 3D printer also to create fixtures and tooling to hold my CNC parts.” Gilroy anticipates that the addition of 3D printing will drastically speed up his overall delivery time for parts.
Gilroy would like one of the messages of his TV program to be a story of hope. “People will see that I fell down many times in life. I failed and made many bad decisions but got back up to overcome incredible odds to do incredible good. I can’t change the past, but I can learn from it and use it to help others.”
Gilroy shared a preview of one of the Titan: American Built episodes, in which Ken Coburn, the owner of GoEngineer, visited the Maxine Singer Youth Guidance Center in Marysville, California. Coburn helped launch the “TITAN-Built Careers” program, which reaches out to at-risk teenagers in Northern California. GoEngineer donated computers and SolidWorks software, and Stratasys donated a 3D printer, to enable the kids to design and 3D print their ideas. GoEngineer will continue with weekly instruction in CAD, 3D printing and other related technologies.