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Bringing 3D printing to the fire department

With a background in design and prototype development, Andy Stotts brought 3D printing to the Oceanside Fire Department to create faster response times.

When Andy Stotts discovered 3D printing, his curiosity was immediately triggered when he saw the potential applications in his life. Andy’s first introduction to 3D printing came when he stumbled across a YouTube channel showing how a maker designed and 3D printed his own phone case. Inspired to create his own prints, Andy was referred to Robo by his close friend and local school teacher who used the Robo R1+ in his classroom.

Andy started off printing useful files he found on Thingiverse, an open source website created to share 3D files designed by people from all around the world.

“I first used it to print useful items found on Thingiverse - things for my shop or around the house. I then started designing replacement parts and accessories for the fire department.”

Once Andy started seeing deficiencies around his fire station, his creativity and ingenuity pushed him to design small objects and “life hacks” that would help fix old equipment and create a more organized approach to equipment utilization.

Using Autodesk Fusion 360, Andy found himself diving deep into the world of 3D printing, teaching himself the intricacies and mechanics involved in the sometimes overwhelming world of additive manufacturing. Andy became so involved in 3D printing, that he now has 14 Robo R1+ machines, as well as the newest addition to the family, the Robo R2. When asked how he learned so much about 3D printers, Andy had this to say.

“I was fortunate to live close to Robo 3D and became friends with Braydon, Jerry and all the great guys at Robo, so I had lots of help learning. Jason and Austin were my primary instructors and they were a huge help learning the machines. Within 2 months I knew the R1+ inside and out and started helping others on forums.”

Andy’s creativity knows no limits. One of the many problems Andy faced while on an emergency call was that the door locks inside the fire truck were known to get knocked by gear, locking the door preventing them from getting in and out of the truck swiftly. When life hangs in the balance and time is of the essence, this seemingly small problem was a hindrance. Andy, recognizing this problem, turned to his 3D software to create something called the “No-Lock”. This No-Lock wrapped around the base of the lock, preventing it from getting pushed down, allowing the firefighter easy access to equipment inside the truck. Many of Andy’s fellow firefighters were so impressed with this small improvement, that they asked Andy to equip every truck door with the No-Lock.

We asked Andy how others, like himself, could use 3D printing to their benefit -

“The Robo printers allow the imagination to become reality.  If you design it, the Robo will print it. Imagination no longer has limitations.”

Andy still resides in Oceanside as the Fire Chief and continues to be a devoted user of Robo printers.

About Robo

Robo is the future of 3D printing, and that future is now — whose goal is to give makers of all ages and skills levels the tool needed to help turn their passion into a physical reality, as quickly and as easily as possible.

Founded in 2012 by a group of students from San Diego State University, Robo delivered its first model to customers in 2013. Since then, the company has grown into a leading brand in the desktop segment of the 3D printing industry.

Robo is based in sunny San Diego and continues to improve the total experience of 3D printing with its diverse range of products — most recently with the launch of the Robo C2 compact smart 3D printer with Wi-Fi and the Robo R2 highperformance 3D printer with Wi-Fi.


Andy Stotts, Fire Chief
Oceanside Fire Department, San Diego, CA


With creativity that has no limits, Andy applies 3D printing to his every day life and also finds uses to benefit his fire department.

Benefits of 3D printing

Faster response times


Innovation, Professional 


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