Rapid City businesses harboring growing tech-community

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RAPID CITY S.D. (KOTA TV) - "It's not just about the technical side, it is about creating opportunities for South Dakotans,” said Shon Anderson, Vice President of B9 Creations.

B9 Creations may be tucked away on the School of Mines campus, but the company is creating printers of the future. 3-D printing capabilities are no longer out of reach for consumers.

"The key to making our technology more accessible to more people is software,” said Anderson, “Software is the wrapper through which people interact with technology. As we grow faster and our customers are demanding more from us, we needed more firepower to continue to scale."

That’s where Pixel Pines comes in. Pixel Pines is a custom software company started by Rapid City native, Pat Honeycut and native South Dakotan Brian Butterfield.

Butterfield says it was a classic story: Rapid City kid comes home, builds some custom software and it turns into a premier enterprise software development shop.

"The reason why we're doing what we're doing is that we can be part of a growth story in B9 Creations as well as the community that we are building within the tech sector,” said Butterfiled, “There is a strong pull for that."

The relationship between the two companies started as B9 Creations looked at their product from the consumer side. The software used in the machines needs to be user-friendly as well as being capable of telling the machine what to do.

"Most of the people who are interested in 3-D printing want what comes out of the printer, they don't care about the printer itself,” says Anderson.

Anderson says B9 Core printers are built with the end result in mind, making the product more user-friendly.

Another goal both businesses have in common: creating an opportunity for South Dakota students.

"Our goal is to create as much opportunity here as we can by serving customers all over the globe,” said Anderson.

Although a 3-D printer may seem a bit futuristic, Anderson says it is closer than we think.

"The impact of 3-D printing is just beginning to be felt,” said Anderson, “Everyone will understand the impact over the next 3 to 5 years, because the way you buy things, the way things are customized to you, will change."