MARYVILLE, Mo. — A company that builds parts for NASA came to the rescue for a Missouri man and FOX4 Problem Solvers.
The problem involved a broken massage chair and a retired farmer who had been trying for months to find someone to fix it.
Ricky Davison had only owned the Ootori massage chair for nine months when a rack broke in the back of the chair that prevented it from working.
Davison couldn’t get hold of anyone at Ootori for help — even though the chair was supposedly still under warranty. The Texas-based company has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau and has stopped answering its phones.
Davison called FOX4 Problem Solvers, and we called Xometry, a Maryland high-tech manufacturing company that does (among other things) 3-D printing. Some of its work ends up in NASA’s space station.
Applications engineer Greg Paulsen and Aaron Lichtig, vice president of growth marketing, were happy to help.
“We take a lot of pride in our ability to help people all across the spectrum,” Lichtig said.
Davison sent Xometry his broken rack from one side of the chair as well as the rack from the other side, which was still in one piece, that way Xometry knew exactly what the piece should like whole.
But this was no easy fix.
“It’s very difficult to just kind of sketch up in a 3-D design and remake it, so we had to reverse engineer it,” Paulsen said.
Then Xometry used a 3-D printer to make a new part from a much stronger plastic. The company actually remade both racks so they would be equally strong.
“I know we are excited to see the result,” said Paulsen, who rarely gets to see his work in action since much of it’s now on the moon.
Both men were watching via video teleconference when FOX4 brought the parts to Davison’s home. Luckily, all the years Davison spent running his farm has made him comfortable tinkering with tools, and installing two new racks was a task he could handle.
After about an hour of putting in screws and bolts and greasing the racks, it was time to give the massage chair a try.
“Let’s turn it on,” Davison said.
“The moment of truth,” Paulsen said.
For the first time in months, the chair worked flawlessly.
“The eagle has landed,” said Paulsen laughing.
Thanks to Xometry, Davison has working massage chair, and we have another problem solved.