Did you know?

Engineering choices can affect the cost of your parts.

We have assembled a collection of rapid prototyping tips and tricks to help you reduce costs and design for manufacturability. If you have questions specific you your project, please contact us.

COST SAVING TIPS FOR RAPID PRINTING:

If your Stereolithography (SLA) part’s walls are thick enough they can be hollowed out to save on production material costs.

Horizontally oriented Stereolithography (SLA) parts build faster and cheaper, but magnify the stair steps used in the model.

Stereolithography (SLA) parts designed with the long axis of the model oriented vertically take longer to build, but reduce the number of stair steps used.

The use of Connex500 Polyjet parts for masters can reduce cost in some applications.

SLA vs. 3D Printing: What’s the difference?
  • Stereolithography (SLA) parts can be used as mold masters, so can Connex500 Polyjet parts.
  • Stereolithography (SLA) parts can be clear or ABS-like, so can Connex500 Polyjet parts.
  • Stereolithography (SLA) parts can be painted, so can Connex500 Polyjet parts.
  • The Connex500 Polyjet 3D printer can print multiple materials within a single build, SLA cannot.
  • The Connex500 Polyjet 3D printer has a wide range of materials and durometers, SLA is limited.
  • The Connex500 Polyjet 3D printer builds z-axis layers down to 16 micron (.0006″), SLA builds .006″ layers.
  • SLA is usually less expensive on larger builds and we can produce parts that exceed our vat size.
  • The Stereolithography (SLA) process can build QuickCast masters.
  • Stereolithography (SLA) parts are also used in investment casting.

CASTING PARTS, FACTORS THAT AFFECT SILICONE MOLD LIFE:

As you cast your models, urethane permeates the mold over time and degrades the accuracy of your parts.

Silicone molds have a limited life cycle depending on the casting material chosen.

Part geometry also determines silicone mold life.

Wall thickness makes a difference in the stability of urethane castings.

Urethanes come in a wide range of different durometers and Shore A & D varieties.

Additional options for cast parts:
  • Urethane parts can be cast in specific colors and with specific textures to meet your design needs.
  • Urethane castings can be painted and finished.
  • Parts can be cast in silicones as well as urethanes.
  • Silicone parts can be painted and finished.
  • Silicones come in a wide range of different durometers and Shore A & D varieties.
  • Pucks can be insert into molds during the molding process to simulate tactile feel in silicone keypads.

WE OFFER RAPID TOOLING FOR PLASTIC INJECTION PRODUCTION:

We can build your aluminum tooling or machine temporary tooling out of REN material.

We can build fixtures on our 3D printer.

If your quantities don’t justify the cost of plastic injection, silicone molds are a great solution for low volume production.

Non-metal prototypes can also be machined:
  • We machine acrylic
  • We machine polypropelene
  • We machine Delrin and REN board
  • We machine foam
  • We machine Acetal
  • We can machine all types of materials

WE STRIVE TO BE YOUR TURNKEY PROVIDER:

We can be your custom supplier for complex parts in metal, plastic, and specialty materials.

We can provide you with referrals for industrial design advice and mechanical engineering.

We are committed to prompt, responsive service. You will always speak with a live person when you call during office hours.

 

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