Why SLA, CNC and Molded Prototypes?
Stereolithography (SLA). Our 3D Systems Viper SLA machine uses a laser that is accurate to 0.003” to cure each layer of resin in a fine 0.0007” thickness. This level of accuracy yields high precision prototypes in a transparent material that has mechanical and functional properties that are similar to ABS plastic. These features make the Viper SLA machine the clear choice over other available rapid prototyping methods.
Polyjet 3D Printing. Our Objet Connex 3 adds the versatility of a multiple-material 3D printer with state-of-the-art accuracy X/Y of .004” and layers .001” thick. Materials include Digital ABS, which has both high strength and high temperature (95ºC) capabilities. It has transparent material and a lower durometer (softer) material that can be blended on-the-fly to create a wide range of durometers, which is very useful for rapid prototyping features such as liquid seals, living hinges and ergonomic grips.
Micro 3D Printer. Our MiiCraft Ultra 50 enables rapid prototyping of micro-structures and other parts that require high precision. It is accurate to .001” (30 µm) in X/Y and has build layers of .0002” (5 µm). The tradeoff for this accuracy is that the build envelope, while large for its high precision digital optics technology, is relatively small at 2.25” x 1.25” x 4.72” (57x32x120 mm).
CNC Machining. In some cases, an SLA prototype’s surface finish, level of precision or material properties will not meet the conditions that are required for testing, often making CNC machined prototypes a better choice. We have four state of the art Hass CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machines that our experienced staff machinists use to fabricate prototypes in a wide variety of plastics and metals. In house CNC machining allows us to machine prototypes quickly and with a high degree of precision. This is facilitated by in-person communication between the engineer and machinist concerning the design intent and other details that lead to high quality prototypes. In addition, our CNC machining capabilities are indispensable for fabricating prototypes molds.
Injection Molding. The final step in our design process is to fabricate prototype tooling and mold parts using one of our two Arburg injection molding machines. Learn more about our prototype mold fabrication and injection molding.