Additive manufacturing has become the perfect ideal solution for product designers, industrial designers and model makers of all types. With the ability to deliver exacting representations of individual components for fit, form and functional prototypes, combined with the variety of different materials and surface finishes offered, Applied Rapid Technologies has been able to support designers at all stages of their creative process.
For more than a quarter century ART has produced consumer goods models and prototypes with clean lines and wow-factor finishes that illustrate the essence of good product design – and differentiate modern consumer goods. Manufacturers of products return time and again to redesign, redevelop or enhance their products. ART provides the right combination of development engineering and pre-production prototyping that ensure success.
An electronic housing with overmolded grips and integrated key pad. The design called for a hard urethane two-piece plastic housing with an overmolded rubber-like urethane for maximum shock absorption and superior grip. In addition, a complex, integrated keypad had to be incorporated into the overmolding. Required turn around time? Two weeks.
For this Maryland electronics developer, ART developed one round of stereolithography masters and silicone rubber tooling to create a small production run of urethane castings. Our years of specialized experience helped us manage the complicated process of integrating the keypad and creating streamlined, attractive and highly functional overmolding.
In just ten days, ART created a limited production run of ten hand-held electronic housings, which functioned successfully in the field. A few months later, our satisfied customer returned for another ten sets of housings.
Working with three-dimentional CAD models from General Dynamics, ART was tasked with creating 1:25 scale-models or NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST). Our engineers almost immediately encounted a serious complication: when shrunk to scale, certain components - including wafer-thin solar panels became too small and fragile for fabrication.
Improving the orignal CAD model prior to fabrication enabled ART to create easily-assembled sections for the final desktop models. We consolidated parts and assemblines into 26 components - enlarging and thickenng specific details to ensure stability and visibility. Our expert technicians and craftsmen completed 25 scale models.
The models were such a resounding success that a second order for 25 units was placed shortly thereafter.