Our Molding Department recently conducted an experiment to test a 3D printed mold used to create a working prototype. The new Polyjet 3D Printer in our Design and Engineering Department has the ability to print with a wider variety of plastics than our first 3D printer. John Nemeth from our Tool Room along with Nate Hollin and Eric Swanson from Design/Engineering with Gabriel Aragon and Jose Luis Hernandez from the Molding Department successfully completed the experiment as a team.
This new method for rapid prototyping speeds up the mock-up process. When you identify potential problem areas before estimating or full on production— you save time and save on material costs. Integrating this process helps across many departments from Sales through to Production. Estimating a job is more accurate when you can study the prototyped part.
Rapid prototyping started to gain traction in 2013 and we will see this operation more frequently with time. Our Molding Department spent one hour on set-up and one hour on processing the part.
Although this process is not optimal for large production runs, it does add value for low production runs and cuts time down from multiple weeks to one week in turn-around.