What Is Rapid Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping involves specialized manufacturing techniques for making high-quality physical models of a 3D design idea. Prototypes are useful for design improvement, as stepping stones to full production or for engineering testing. They are meant to be quick and economical, without the need for the investment in hard tooling. Many of our clients need to produce a physical part quickly in order to validate a design or to capture a fleeting sales opportunity.
Injection molding – Use low-cost prototyping tools to reduce mold costs and validate part designs
We offer two injections molding service options – prototyping and manufacturing on demand – each option provides its own advantages based on your project requirements. If the number of parts is small, it is important to have a reasonably priced mold entry point, and rapid development in a short period of time is also crucial. Our prototype selection is very useful.
Why use a prototyping tool?
- Receive interactive design for manufacturability feedback and each quote so that adjustments can be made early before prototyping begins.
- Talk to application engineers about any design challenges and manufacturing issues that arise.
- You can have a physical prototype within a few days to quickly modify the design during early product development.
- Produce multiple prototypes simultaneously to compare and iterate designs simultaneously.
- Reduce time-to-market through iterative product development cycles.
- Test the shape and fit of the assembly with a small number of molded parts.
- Perform functional tests using prototypes made of production-grade materials.
- Complete online design resource library, including guides, tips, whitepapers and videos.
- Production of pre-produced injection molded parts to validate market benefits prior to launch.
- Reduce the financial risk of going to market by implementing reasonably priced aluminum tools before mass production begins.
3D Printing in the product development cycle
3D Printing is typically the appropriate technology when a physical representation of a component design is needed immediately in low volumes where accuracy, surface finish, and material properties are not of primary concern. Defined in this way, the application space for 3D Printing includes a wide range of directly printed polymers and metals and an even broader range of materials via intermediate processes such as thermoforming and sand casting. However an increasing number of companies are validating 3D Printed materials for end-use applications, and industrial grade 3D Printers are becoming fast enough to produce small components in higher volumes.
RJC has perfected the art of producing injection molded components in extremely short timelines, making the decision between additive manufacturing and injection molding predominantly a matter of component cost, surface finish, accuracy, material properties, and productivity. Once molds are produced and set up to run, typically in 5-10 work days, injection molding is extremely efficient and cost effective compared to 3D Printing, and yields parts made in any commercially available thermoplastic material. Where 3D Printed components are produced in hours and tens of dollars per part, injection molding requires minutes and dollars (or less) per equivalent part in validated materials.
At RJC, because we offer both families of technology, Additive Manufacturing and Injection Molding, we are able to suggest the best approach for each phase of a product development project. During the ideation, design, and form/fit phases we deliver 3D printed concept models, during the validation and bridge production we can either 3D Print or injection mold depending on the production process, and finally for production we typically injection mold. This flexibility and technology-agnostic approach sets RJC apart from our competitors.
Vacuum Casting Service
RJC offers a complete turnkey solution for creating master patterns and cast copies based on your CAD designs. We not only make high-quality molds but we also offer a full line of finish surface including painting, sanding, pad printing and more. We’ll help you create parts for showroom quality display models, engineering test samples, crowdfunding campaigns and more.
What Is Vacuum Casting?
Polyurethane vacuum casting is a method for making high quality prototypes or low volumes of parts formed from inexpensive silicone molds. Copies made in this way show great surface detail and fidelity to the original pattern.