A key to effective rapid product development is the application of rapid prototyping and manufacturing technologies. Rapid prototyping is a manufacturing technique where materials are added and bonded together in layers to form 3 dimensional objects (3D printing). Through rapid prototyping, an object or project of any geometric complexity or intricacy can be developed quickly and inexpensively.
Phoenix DeVentures offers three different rapid prototyping technologies:
Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
Objet 3D printing
Stratasys Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is 3D printing in metal using a laser to fuse metal particles. In a variety of metals complex parts can be grown with a high degree of precision. For smaller parts (less than 3”) tolerances can reach +/-002”. With the rapid processing capability in metals, the only limitation is the designer’s imagination.
Objet 3D Printing uses a true printing technology to apply .001” layers of UV cured liquid resin to build up parts that are very precise. Objet offers several plastic materials to produce high precision prototypes. Tolerances of +/-.002” in X-Y and +/-.001” in Z axis are achievable. Objet prototypes are typically grown and assembled without secondary operations, due to the degree of precision produced by the technology
Fused Deposition Modeling, or FDM, uses a layered manufacturing method. An extrusion head is used to feed a thread of ABS plastic through heated heads to lay down a thin plastic extrusion on a flat plane. Successive layers are layered to build the 3D model. Because of the high strength ABS plastic, it is ideal for conceptual models and functional testing prototypes