3D Printing, Manufacturing and Engineering

RapidMade's services now include:

Product Design and Engineering

  • Simple static part design to fully automated mechanical and electrical equipment
  • Design for prototyping and manufacture
  • In-house prototyping capabilities for faster iterations and overnight customer feedback
  • 2D and 3D drawings, tolerance and other manufacturing specifications, technology transfer and patent application documentation, equipment manuals, FDA and other compliance as well as other specialized engineering work

Rapid Prototyping

  • 3D printing, quick-turn machining, traditional metal and plastic forming, short-run castings
  • Thermoset and thermoplastic manufacturing, hard and soft metals, composites available
  • Full-color concept models, functional prototypes, assembly and embedded electronics
  • Quotes generally in under 24 hours, parts in days

Contract Manufacturing

  • Production quantities ranging from one to tens of thousands
  • A multitude of available manufacturing processes 
  • Expertise in selecting the right manufacturing process for you
  • Personalized attention to detail and top quality customer service
  • Tooling and part library for easy re-orders

3D Scanning and Reverse Engineering

  • Extremely high accuracy 3D digitization of parts as a reproducible STL file
  • Available reverse engineering to create fully defined parametric files and 2D dimensioned drawings
  • Inspection of manufactured goods to identify deviation from the original design
  • Full-color scans also available

Industrial Pattern and Toolmaking

  • Highly accurate tools in days, not months - at a lower cost
  • Patterns and tools available for all standard manufacturing processes: Injection molding, urethane casting, sand and investment casting, sheet metal stamping, plastic forming and much more
  • Additional finishing capabilities available

Displays, Exhibits and Promotions

  • Full color 3D printing can be done as quickly as under 24 hours
  • Print directly from renderings in CAD or BIM modeling software
  • Great for architecture, store display and marketing customers
  • Very fine feature detail and beautiful aesthetic quality

Finishing and Coating

  • A wide range of finish options including paint, powder coat, plating, media blast, tumbling and much more
  • Clear coat and dyed plastic available for cost effective finishing of prototypes and manufactured goods

Additive Manufacturing is changing the way manufacturers design and create tooling. Robotic arm end effectors are just one (great) example.

Advantages of 3D printed robotic arm end effects are:

Engineers can ignore the rules of DFM (Design for Manufacture.)

  • Vacuum channels were built into the part that could not have been machined into the center of the tool if traditionally manufactured. These tubes would have had to be on the outside of the part and would likely be damaged over repeated runs.
  • The tool would also have to be designed from machined billet blocks, fabricated sheet metal and stock components, then welded and assembled. Design simplification makes for less work on the part of the engineer.
  • The simplified end component is lighter because all excess material that would be in a traditionally manufactured design can be removed and that actually reduces cost instead of adding cost through additional CNC machining time. Lighter end effectors allow for larger payloads for smaller arms and much better motion control by reducing the torque on the end of what is effectively a very long lever.

Manufacturers make no concessions while realizing cost and time savings.

  • The end effector tool is just as durable as a traditionally manufactured tool and is expected to last for just as many cycles.
  • The traditionally manufactured end effector takes hours of fabrication on multiple machines and a lot of labor assembling and welding.
  • By switching to an additive manufacturing method (FDM) in this instance, the customer was able to reduce manufacturing time from 20 days down to 3 (85% reduction in lead time) while also cut fabrication costs by 94%!

Check out the video for the whole story on Robotic Arm Tooling.