R&D Technologies In-House Capabilities

Looking for your next Project? Below are the Technologies R&D has In-House to provide a quick turnaround.

 

FDM

Materials: We offer all of the Stratasys FDM materials across their entire lineup. These are industrial grade thermoplastics meant to take a beating hand hold up under high loads, heats, or stresses. You can read more detailed specs here. 

Tolerances: These machines typically hold +/- 0.005" or +/- 0.0015" per inch in the x/y direction. Layer heights will be built in multiples of 0.010" for most materials, however some materials can be run at a 0.005", 0.007", 0.013" or 0.020" layer height as well. 

Build Volume (LxWxH): We can build up to a 36" x 24" x 36" part, with the next breakdown at 16" x 14" x 16", and the max size for TPU and Diran parts at 14" x 10" x 14". 

Special Considerations: Due to the layering process, weaknesses can occur along the layer lines on thin features, and fine details are harder to build. Slight curvature or draft angles on the top and bottom surfaces tend to get a 'stepping' effect since the layers are thicker than some other processes. Solid blocks can be built with a honeycomb interior to save time, material, and weight as well as cost. Since these are regular plastics, they can typically be sanded, painted, glued, and epoxied. For threads, it is typically recommended to either tap pre-printed holes in the part, or accommodate heat-sink inserts. 

 

Polyjet

Materials: Polyjet materials are acrylic based, and thus not usually meant for end use parts. By mixing Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, White, and Transparent, we can offer over 500,000 different colors, and PANTONE matches for your parts. To make your parts even more realistic, we can apply textures including labels and wraps, photos, etc for the perfect 'looks like' model. We can also mix rubber-like materials to mimic grips and buttons from 27A up to a 95A. For more info on the specs of Polyjet materials, you can read here. 

Tolerances: For the x/y, rigid materials will hold +/- 100µ for parts below 100mm (~4"), and +/- 200µ or +/-0.06% of part length, whichever is greater. The layer heights will typically be built in intervals of 30µ, however some single materials can be built at 16µ if required. 

Build Volume (LxWxH): We can build parts up to 19.3" x 15.35" x 7.9" (490mm x 390mm x 200mm) for all materials.

Special Considerations: Polyjet can build fine details including threads, pins, and lettering. The average heat deflection is 120°F, which means parts will warp and bend at relatively low heats. Acrylic is somewhat brittle, and can crack if dropped on hard surfaces or care is not taken to tap holes correctly. The rubber materials won't perform the same as an end-use silicone with less rebound, and microtears after repeated bending. Clear parts will typically come out frosted, and will need to be buffed to get a full see-through effect. Buffed clear parts will be clearest in the Z direction as the layers tend to distort light when looking through the sides of a part. 

 

Solidscape

Materials: High resolution, complete burnout wax that doesn't leave any ash in the casting cavities. 

Tolerances: 

Build Volume: 

Special Considerations: Wax prints can take a very long time to build, especially depending on the layer height chosen. Finding the right resolution for the features and amount of wax or final part cleanup will lead to the best cost effectiveness. Wax is very brittle, so very small unsupported features can cause problems in post processing and/or shipping. 

 

Extra Part Processes:

R&D handles light post processing in the line of sanding, clear-coating, marine epoxy coating (for waterproofing FDM), and adding heat-sink inserts. For larger projects or more specific post processing techniques, we work closely with a local shop to handle your needs.

 

Mechanical CAD:

We can handle smaller projects with more mechanical designs in mind using our Solidworks CAD software. For larger projects, and organic shapes that require a more tailored CAD software, we have external contacts we can get you in touch with.

 

R&D Technologies Resources

Below are the external capabilities we have access to in order to get you the parts you need. 

SLA

-Similar to polyjet, most materials are acrylic based, but there are some higher performance materials available. Builds a lattice support that requires some form of media blasting to smooth out.

DMLS

-Metal parts printed by melting a fine powder in layers. Can give strong parts, but tends to be very costly, and will have a 'matte' cast finish that may require polishing for certain applications.

MJF

-Nylon-based powder printing for finer details. May require dye to color, and a sealant to keep from the powder 'rubbing off'. 

Vacuum Forming

-Typically, we will build sparse filled FDM parts that can then be placed on a Vacuum table to pull a heated sheet of plastic over for packaging mockups. 

Silicone Cast Rubber

-We can build molds for casting silicone parts if you want something similar to an end-use rubber or need a more specific shore value. We work with a local company that can handle these quickly with a fast turnaround time. 

Injection Molding

- For low volume parts (low 100's), sometimes polyjet molds can be printed at a fraction of the cost of steel or aluminum molds.

Metal Casting

- Casting in various metals using our wax process. While we don't currently have a direct contact for larger parts, large FDM parts can be built for bigger sand casts. 

Post Processing

- For larger projects, specific colors or coatings, we have outreach to local companies that can help bring your parts to a more finished and refined product. 

CAD Design & Scanning

-We have outreach to various companies for different types of scanning and CAD work. Larger projects, and more organic/sculpted parts will typically go in this direction.

CNC/Machining

-While not typically in our wheelhouse of additive manufacturing, we do have outreach to companies with CNC capabilities.