Photo renderings of your ideas

You know what your thing should look like, and what it should do.  It is probably something you have come to know like a good friend.  You have probably spent hours of creative time working on it, thinking about it, and revising it over and over again.  “Obsession” is a word that usually describes it.  That is okay.  We understand. 🙂

Most folks need to sell their thing or idea someday.  The people who need to visualize that thing are usually investors or users who would very much like to see and understand your thing before investing their resources in it.  Sometimes it is not financially practical to have a complete prototype ready to show to investors, especially when those investors are not located where you are.  Consider too that to see a photo and to have an actual prototype in hand present different risks for having your idea copied by others.

Concept drawings of the Adrenaline Mount

One of the strengths of designing parts or complete assemblies in 3D CAD software is that we can generate photo-realistic images of what the part will look like when it is made.  We can place logos, add photo-realistic lighting, backgrounds, or whatever is needed to depict the device.  Sometimes those images lead to aesthetic changes that can mean all the difference in the final product.  Sometimes those images get used for promotional materials that would be difficult to generate by using a physical model.  Sometimes those images go no further than a portfolio.

Sometimes a photo is indeed worth a thousand words.


Rapid tooling, rubber grommet

“Yes, but I need parts NOW!!!”

A last-minute cable design change required a different grommet to protect a cable as it passed out of an enclosure.  Nothing was available off-the-shelf that had the shape characteristics we needed.  In this case, we needed the durability, heat resistance, and strength and there were no rapid prototyped material available on the market with matching characteristics. We had to come up with a different solution, and we only had a few days to figure it out.

Traditionally, it was necessary to cut expensive injection molding tooling which  takes a few weeks. With small production runs, this approach does not make economic sense for a few parts only worth a couple of dollars. Traditional solutions were not good options.

We solved the problem using rapid prototyping but not in the way most folks would expect.

With a few hours to design and print, we made several sets of tools in the Objet 3D printer.  We then molded the parts we needed using a polyurethane resin.  Polyurethane resins come in different hardness values, physical properties,  and can be color pigmented to match almost any color.

Our mold design uses four interlocking parts.  The unique design allowed the grommet to be molded without any visible mold flash lines on the cosmetic surfaces.  One feature of the Objet 3D printer is that it has the ability to print parts with glossy surfaces, so our molded part would also have glossy surfaces.  The rapid prototyped mold we created required no post-processing as it was ready for use as soon as it came out of the printer.  We put it to use that day.

This same technique can be used to generate other molds for other applications.  Let us put this technology to work for you.

Contact us to learn more: or +1.904.646.5666

Rapid Prototyped tools for Contract Manufacuting

Our rapid prototyping capability helps us make tools quickly for our contract manufacturing needs.

Have you ever been tinkering around and wondered to yourself, “If only I had a tool that could do…”   All of the mechanical engineers I know have extensive tool boxes. While it is great to have every driver, wrench and helpful thingy known to man at the tip of your fingers, it is not always a tool that is off-the-shelf that will do the job.

One of the services we provide is the manufacturing of wire harnesses.  In one case it was necessary to twist wires together and the client needed parts fast.  Sounds easy, right?  Try buying a reasonably priced tool that can do that, especially when you have crimped ends that most folks don’t use. The lead time to actually get the twister delivered would directly have put us out of the picture.

Since our strength is custom work in relatively small runs of maybe a few thousand pieces, we make our own tools using rapid prototyping.  One of our favorite tools is a handy little device that we use for wire twisting.  Using a small motor, a foot switch, and our special rig, it works consistently and efficiently.  When you need to twist wires for 500 harnesses, the little rig can save hours of work.  With our rapid prototype capabilities, we can easily make new fixtures to accommodate different crimped ends.  Within 24 hours we had conceptualized, designed, and 3D printed the wire twister which is seen in action in the video we made.

Contact us to learn more: or +1.904.646.5666

So what do I need to do to have it made?

Key chain example

This part is a sample piece that can only be produced using rapid prototyping techniques.

Rapid prototypes require a 3D CAD file in STL format.  If you have one, you can upload the file here.  We will send you a quote by e-mail shortly.  The rapid prototype can be produced and delivered to you within a few days.

But what if my design is not completed?  That is where our engineers come in.  We are experienced product development engineers that can complete the design for you.  We can work from as little as paper napkin sketches.  Sometimes our clients bring us mock-up models taped together using foam core, off-the-shelf parts, and cardboard.     As long as what you have conveys the concept, we can make it happen.

Some people have experience with design, and prefer to do it themselves, but do not have the software resources that design engineers use.  If you want to design the product yourself there are some free or low-cost alternatives available.    Our favorite review site Top Ten Reviews has reviewed low-cost CAD software.  There are also open source CAD programs that are free.  If your intention is rapid prototyping, you need to make sure that the software can export STL files.  If you plan to send your design out for production at a later stage, many mold makers prefer to work with STEP or IGES formats.

Caution:  We have not tried these low-cost or free programs so we cannot say anything about how they perform.  Another caution is that a design is typically not better than the designer.  I am in the possession of a word processor but it does not make my writing skills better 🙂  Remember that almost any part can be rapid prototyped.  When the part goes into production there are limitations to consider that are not readily apparent if you do not have experience with the production equipment.

Contact us to learn more: or +1.904.646.5666