"Redeye has the best support and service I have ever seen. Very short lead times, and on-time delivery."
November 1, 2006
Rapid Manufacturing Produces Parts Faster and Less Expensively
First-Hand Account by Industry Expert Hails Leading RM Facility as ‘Impressive’
MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--(Nasdaq:SSYS) Rapid Manufacturing (RM), the technique of creating production-grade parts directly for end-use with rapid prototyping equipment can provide speed and lifetime cost benefits over traditional manufacturing techniques, such as injection molding, for some products.
This was the conclusion of world-renown product-development expert, Terry Wohlers, following an in-person visit to RedEye — the world’s largest rapid prototype and part-building service (a business unit of Stratasys). Wohlers is president of Wohlers Associates, a design and manufacturing consulting firm, operating since 1986.
“Rapid manufacturing is finding its way into many industries. The possibilities seem limitless,” states Wohlers on his corporate blog site.
In reference to his visit, Wohlers’ blog reads, “(RedEye) is attracting far more rapid manufacturing jobs than anyone at the company had envisioned. RedEye is offering unparalleled FDM capacity. I was impressed that the company had produced 60,000 parts for customers over the past three years and now has over 60 machines dedicated to its operation.”
RedEye services clients in industries such as aerospace, electronics, consumer, automotive and medical products. “Our first major rapid manufacturing order came from a company that produces specialized camera parts,” says RedEye sales manager, Jeff Hanson. “This customer has ordered nearly 2,000 PC/ABS parts to date, and we expect them to order many more. This really changed the mindset at RedEye when we saw the potential for these types of orders, and we realized that we could eliminate tooling for some applications. We also built 4,800 polycarbonate parts for a company that develops hand-held medical devices for cardiac surgeons,” says Hanson. “In addition, the U.S. military ordered 400 PC/ABS battery-pack components for flashlights mounted to M16s. The traditional molding companies had to turn down the order because they couldn’t meet the tight deadline.”
Rapid manufacturing, also known as layered or direct digital manufacturing, best serves those customers who need custom or short-run production parts. “Our service and the technology is ideal for companies producing low volumes of parts, where expensive tooling is not desirable," says Hanson.
In addition to short runs, RM can provide a competitive edge for small to mid-sized manufacturers who:
Require bridge manufacturing while waiting for tooling.
Manufacture jigs and fixtures.
Require rapid turnaround of 2-5 days. (Alpha and beta product launches, for example, require a very small total production but very fast turnaround time.)
Need parts that utilize complex geometries with negative angles, undercuts, thin walls or complex injection molded parts. It's also appropriate for parts without draft angles or ejector pin placements, or those with critical dimensional stability requirements.
Need to conserve capital for cash flow.
Conduct continuous design iterations during feasibility and market validation studies. Rapid manufacturing parts allow engineers and manufacturers to design, build and test their parts as many times as necessary.
For more information about rapid manufacturing or to try the RedEye automated quoting process, go to www.RedEyeOnDemand.com.
RedEye, a business unit of Stratasys, is the world's largest provider of rapid prototyping and direct digital manufacturing services. With more than 80 systems in its facilities, RedEye is the source for low-volume, high quality models and working parts made from one of the largest selections of thermoplastic materials available, such as ABS, polycarbonate, ISO certified and more. From digital files, RedEye quickly builds models and parts of any size, while maintaining precise design accuracy and allows for multiple iterations throughout the design process. Get a secure instant quote from your 3D CAD files now. On the Web: www.RedEyeOnDemand.com
Stratasys Inc., Minneapolis, makes rapid manufacturing and prototyping systems and 3D printers, and it offers prototyping and manufacturing services. Stratasys equipment is used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, defense, medical, and consumer products. In 2005, the company installed 34 percent of all systems sold worldwide, making it the unit market leader for the fourth consecutive year, according to Wohlers Report 2006. Stratasys patented the rapid prototyping process known as fused deposition modeling (FDM®). The process creates functional models or production parts directly from any 3D CAD program using ABS plastic, polycarbonate, PPSF and blends. The company holds 175 granted or pending global prototyping patents. In addition to manufacturing products, Stratasys is the exclusive North American distributor of Arcam metal rapid manufacturing and prototyping systems. On the Web: www.Stratasys.com
RedEye is a trademark, and FDM is a registered trademark, of Stratasys, Inc.
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