3D Rapid Prototyping

Helping Engineers Confirm Design Usability

Rapid prototyping aids with project design and process development, as well as validates manufacturability.

Rapid prototyping (RP) covers a variety of processes that, typically, produce low quantities of parts without tooling, making a quick turnaround possible. Fab Masters offers Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), via our Dimension BST 1200es, which uses a heated nozzle to extrude plastic having a 0.01” diameter onto a work piece. In this type of rapid prototyping, fused plastic is deposited layer by layer according to the 3D model (computer file), and built into a 3-dimensional object.

Rapid prototyping offers low cost for short runs since no tooling is required. RP allows engineers, designers, managers and end users to check designs for usability, appearance, manufacturability, form, fit, function, etc., prior to committing to conventional manufacturing. RP speeds the design cycle.

Rapid prototyping can produce almost any 2D or 3D shape including shapes that cannot be made using conventional machining, with NO PHYSICAL TOOLING required.

For Technical Assistance

Please direct your questions and concerns to:

Victoria Green, Fab Masters Company CAD Technician

Email: vgreen@fabmasters.net

Rapid Prototyping Design Consideration

  • Since the extrusion is .010”, it is best to keep dimension in multiples of this value especially smaller dimensions, walls and air gaps
  • Tolerance: X, Y .005” + 0.1%, Z .010” + 0.1%
  • Minimum wall: .030” for horizontal walls (e.g. bottom of box), .040” for vertical walls with no holes or cutouts, .1” for vertical walls with holes and slots in sides, .020” for very low walls that form letters/logos
  • Minimum diameter of holes in side of part: 0.25”
  • Minimum height of horizontal slots in side of part: 0.25”
  • Minimum material between hole and edge or between holes: .04” ideally, .02 absolute minimum and can create problems
  • Maximum size: 10” x 10” x 12”
  • Since parts are formed via a ~0.01” diameter plastic extrusion, the material will be slightly porous and therefore is not appropriate for containers of gases or liquids, the surface will be rougher than a machined part; and there are often small gaps, usually at intricate or curved features
  • Intricate features, such as small lettering are not recommended due to the .01” extrusion quantization

Why Choose Us

The addition of a 3D printer and rapid prototyping service has allowed us to help our customers better with design assistance, and validation of manufacturability early in the project development stage. It has been estimated that 60% to 95% of product cost and production time is determined in the design phase.

“Some would think adding a 3D printer and rapid prototyping technology to a smaller company an extravagance; I regard it as adding more value to our customer’s dollar. The greater our efficiency in-house, the more our customer saves.”

-Ron Troxell, President