Knowledge to the Power of Imagination

Archive of our 3D printer business from the 1990s acquired by Penn State University:

Ennex™ is a family of small companies founded by Marshall Burns in 1975 to take on extraordinary challenges and opportunities. The name “Ennex” is made up of the two English letters, “n” and “x.” In elementary mathematics, n is used to represent a known, or given, quantity, while x represents the unknown. Together, the letters n and x are intended to represent the infinite potential available from combining what is known with what is not yet known, raising knowledge to the power of imagination. That is the meaning of Ennex.

The outcome has been pretty astounding. Over the years, Ennex has participated in innovations that radically changed how people live, work, and play. Some examples of Ennex’s revolutionary projects are:

Ad for first PC clone, Marshall Burns Computer Sales, 1982Personal computers. Marshall Burns Computer Sales of Pasadena, CA (later Ennex Technology Marketing, Inc., Austin, TX), was first to market in May 1982 with a generic brand personal computer built around the proprietary technology of the revolutionary IBM Personal Computer. Components were sourced from IBM and its vendors or equivalents and custom assembled into complete systems for customers. Prices were kept low by direct marketing without a storefront, by maintaining low inventories, and by requiring payment COD. All units underwent 24-hour quality testing before being shipped, resulting in zero returns.

Read more about the Birth of PC Clone.

Cover of "Automated Fabrication" by Marshall Burns, 19933D Printers. A decade later, Ennex raised the ante from personal computers to personal factories. A number of technologies were developed in the 1980s that used digital data and raw materials to make arbitrary, three-dimensional, solid objects. Known at the time mostly as “rapid prototyping,” these technologies had far more potential than that name suggested. Marshall Burns wrote the first major book on this subject, calling it Automated Fabrication, and started Ennex Fabrication Technologies to promote a vision of “digital fabricators” setting people free from the confines of mass manufacturing. Burns was invited to speak at conferences from Japan to Nigeria and consulted to IBM, Dow Chemical, the US Navy, and numerous other clients on how to use or develop “fabbers” for manufacturing, medical, modeling, and other applications. Twenty years later, the technology has started to attract popular interest, now more commonly known as “3D printing.”

Read more about Ennex Fabbing the Future.

See a broader selection of Ennex projects.