Rapid prototypes are used in a vast array of professional and amateur sports. Selecting the best method to prototype – before production tooling – can be a challenge. Whatever your prototype requirements, Applied Rapid Technologies advises on the ideal manufacturing techniques and materials to ensure your expectations are exceeded, and your product is delivered at an affordable price. Sporting equipment and accessories are also important for encouraging safe participation in many activities.
From gaining the competitive edge to increasing safety, our custom models and prototypes support superior product development – from conception through production. Our deep knowledge of durable materials and manufacturing processes, accumulated over 25-plus years, underpins our extensive in-house advanced manufacturing technologies. Our range of manufacturing services provides customers with a go-to source for all of their physical prototyping requirements.
The nations’s largest maker of protective athletic cups wanted to expand into chest protection for young baseball players. A flawless prototype for testing and tooling verification was critically important. The process of overmolding—joining flexible and hard materials—added a layer of complexity to the task, which had to be completed in just one week.
Cadability, Inc. one of our design partners, provided data files from which ART produced a Stereolithography master and rubber tooling. Our experts cast a hard urethane liner and then overmolded it with a soft rubber-like urethane. The unique design of the heart shield product channels impact energy to three anchor points, away from the critical heart area, greatly reducing injury potential. For testing purposes, the XO Heart Shield was glued onto T-shirts. During actual production, the device is injection molded directly onto the T-shirt.
The single iteration of the prototype proved highly effective and successful. The one-week turnaround enabled the client to prove out the design before making an enormous financial commitment to creating the product. With a potential production run of hundreds of thousands to even millions, the XO Heart Shield chest protectors hit store shelves in the Spring of 2008.
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.