How 3D Printing Helped Southern California-Based Total Resources International Launch a New Product into a Big Box Retailer

Posted on May 18, 2018 by Cullen Hikene

3D Printing has made headlines across virtually every industry and not a day goes by without some innovative use case winding up in the news. For Southern California-based Total Resources International (TRI), 3D Printing was instrumental in helping it prepare a new product concept for an important meeting with a big-box retailer.

Click here for a PDF version of this case study.

Total Resources International (TRI)

In the nearly three decades since its inception, the family-owned Total Resources International (TRI) has grown to become one of the leading manufacturers of first aid kits and emergency preparedness essentials in the nation. TRI develops and manufactures these kits for home, office, school, auto, sporting goods, outdoors and marine and farm under the Be Smart Get Prepared brand. Located in Walnut, Calif., TRI operates in a 5-building, 7-acre facility with more than 120,000 square feet with its own in-house research and development, product development, marketing, sales, purchasing, production, shipping/receiving, quality control, inventory control, and administration departments.

In 1995, TRI owners George and Merlyn Rivera established a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization called Vision HimPossible Ministries (VHM). VHM supports ministries and missionaries domestically and overseas in the Philippines, India, Asia, South America, and Mexico, and actively supports orphanages, establishes community outreach, leadership and livelihood programs, sustains feeding centers, and helps build churches, learning centers, and schools. A portion of all TRI’s after-tax profits supports VHM.

TRI products can be found in many well-known, big-box retailers nationwide.

Working with 3Diligent

When TRI was asked to develop a new storage case design for one of its best-selling kits at a big box retailer, new products designer Erika Villalobos wanted to develop something innovative and different than previous kits. The two-level case was designed to be more user-friendly, have easier access to components, and a modern, sleek look. Since easy access to first-aid supplies was a key part of the new design, it was important to show this functionality in the meeting with the retailer in a way that was more impactful than using a drawing.

New to 3D Printing, Villalobos was unsure of what process and materials would be appropriate for her design. Villalobos called a number of local 3D Printing vendors and while she was able to receive quotes, the vendors weren’t able to answer the questions that she had. One company even discouraged her by saying that her design files were incorrect and that certain materials weren’t possible for her design.

But when Villalobos contacted 3Diligent, their team was able to answer her questions, work with her files, and gain access to a range of 3D Printing material options that other providers didn’t or couldn’t offer. Villalobos submitted a request for quote (RFQ) on the 3Diligent website and received a quote within 24 hours.

“Even though I was hesitant to try 3D Printing and had so many questions, my 3Diligent sales rep answered all of my questions and made me feel comfortable. Working with 3Diligent just felt right,” said Villalobos. “The fast, open communication continued through the entire process.”

3Diligent’s Range of Digital Manufacturing Capabilities

3Diligent offers a complete range of additive manufacturing processes including sheet lamination, binder jetting, material jetting, vat photopolymerization, extrusion, powder bed fusion, and directed energy deposition. 3Diligent also offers machining and casting services. These processes are offered across the range of resins, plastics, metals, and composites, and allows 3Diligent to address virtually any project need, from prototype to production.

A Successful Relationship

TRI delivered its new design sample to its contacts at the retailer and was able to demonstrate the new features and functionality and the retailer was happy. The design will be on sale in the next year or two. TRI is now working to develop a number of new, patented products and plans to work with 3Diligent on 3D Printing those designs to ensure their functionality.

3Diligent is “The Digital Manufacturing Partner for Every Business” offering CAD/CAM-based fabrication services such as 3D Printing, CNC machining, and casting. 3Diligent uses data science to analyze customer requests for quotes (RFQs) and identify optimal rapid manufacturing solutions across its network of qualified partners to fabricate better parts faster. 3Diligent’s next-generation approach to rapid manufacturing allows customers to simplify their procurement and rationalize its service provider list. 3Diligent counts companies from Fortune 500 enterprises to startups among its customers. For more information, visit

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