Seamlessly get quotes and place orders with our new Instant Quote Tool—all you need is a CAD file!

RapidMade is excited to announce our new Instant Quote Tool, which makes it easier than ever to quote and order 3D printed parts from our Multi Jet Fusion, FDM, ColorJet, PolyJet and Metal Printing services. Now, you can get our same high-quality manufacturing and customer service in a streamlined application that lets you get a price and place your order in just a few clicks.

To get started, simply upload a CAD file of your desired part and select the 3D printing technology and material that you want to use. Instant Quote works with many file types, including STL, STEP, IGES, SLDPRT and more. You’ll be able to view a 3D model of your part and instantly get an automatically generated quote. Once you have everything set up to your liking, you can place your order right away. We’ll get to work on your parts, with lead times as small as 2 days for rush orders.

We’re committed to increasing your competitive advantage by putting high-quality custom manufacturing solutions at your fingertips. Whether you are looking for end-use parts, functional prototypes or aesthetic models, we’ll help you get there faster and at less cost.

We are planning on adding more services to Instant Quote in time. For now, our full suite of engineering and manufacturing services will still be available through our Classic Quote Tool. If you have questions about any of our services, you can always get in touch with us directly or with any of our regional sales representatives by visiting our website.

Click the button below to get started with your Instant Quote and order parts today!

Posted
AuthorMicah Chaban

WiM Oregon is hosting a dinner and roundtable discussion on Wednesday, June 26! Join us for a roundtable discussion concerning safety and ergonomic issues and best practices in the manufacturing environment. 

The event will include dinner, refreshments, and networking with industry professionals. We hope to see you there!

Date:
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Time:
5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Location:
Vista Pearl
1150 NW Quimby Street
Portland, OR 97209 

Pricing:
Student: $10
Member: $15
Nonmember: $20
Registration includes dinner and two drink tickets.

Sign Me Up!

RapidMade is teaming up with OSU to develop a new way of creating industrial-grade carbon fiber-reinforced 3D prints.

In many industries, new equipment is often a double-edged sword. Although technological advances bring many advantages, new equipment requires large investments from business owners in order to stay competitive while frequently leading to the end of manufacturer support for older equipment. This can put small business owners in a bind as old equipment becomes prohibitively expensive to maintain, while newer models require too much upfront capital for their business to afford to compete.

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Few industries feel the bite of this process harder than the agricultural industry. In a business landscape where smaller farms already find it difficult to compete with large operations, it can often become impossible to cover the costs of maintaining discontinued equipment. Moreover, the specialty parts required by the agricultural industry are almost always difficult to obtain in rural areas.

Industrial-grade 3D printed replacement parts

RapidMade is hoping to change this by developing a way for rural communities to affordably produce their own replacement parts. As part of a partnership with OSU, we are looking at a new method for using carbon fiber to reinforce nylon 3D printed Multi Jet Fusion parts. Along with this, the project also aims to create custom design software to allow agriculture businesses to get the most from this new technology. Lastly, we are putting together plans for self-contained 3D printing centers that would provide everything rural communities need to 3D print their own replacement parts for agricultural equipment at a fraction of the cost of traditional technologies.

To read more about our plan for increasing the accessibility of custom 3D printing, take a look at the new white paper we just published on the topic by clicking the button below.

Posted
AuthorMicah Chaban

We had an eventful April this month at RapidMade and have a few new offerings to tell you about! Keep reading to find out more.

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We kicked off the month by collaborating with HP to host our first ever Design for Additive Manufacturing Workshop. We had over 30 customers and manufacturers come by our Tigard facility to learn about designing products for Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing. The team from HP did an awesome job teaching everyone how to get the most out of additive manufacturing for their business. In particular, they focused on how 3D printing can fit into full production runs, not just prototypes and product development.

In addition to the HP team’s informative presentation, a few RapidMade team members led a section on creating 3D printed tooling for other technologies like thermoforming and urethane casting. 3D printing can dramatically reduce cost and production time for other technologies by quickly producing tooling that would otherwise take weeks to create.

It was great to get to meet so many people doing exciting things with additive manufacturing and to get to show off our facilities! If you weren’t able to attend but would like to learn more about Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM), you’re in luck! We recently published a brand-new DfAM guide this month that has everything you need to get started with your 3D printed design. We also created a Thermoforming Design for Manufacturing (DFM) guide to give some general guidelines to using this useful manufacturing technology.

In other news, we are introducing two new materials for our Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) services: ESD ABS and ASA. ESD ABS is an electrostatic dissipative plastic the protects parts against electrostatic discharge. It has many applications in electronics and beyond. ASA is a highly UV-resistant plastic that is great for creating long-lasting parts for outdoor use that will be exposed to lots of sunlight. Check out all of our 3D printing materials here to learn more about the range of options we offer.

As always, our engineers and sales representatives are here to help with all of your questions, so feel free to reach out for more information on any of our manufacturing and engineering services. If you’ve got a project that you’d like to work with RapidMade on, get started today with a free quote in 24 hours or less using our quick quote tool by clicking below.

Posted
AuthorMicah Chaban
The 3D printed periscope case manufactured by the HP Multi Jet Fusion.

Additive Manufacturing Magazine recently published an article about one of RapidMade’s clients, Defox, LLC, a startup based right here in Oregon. We’ve been helping Defox develop and launch its Periscope Case, an innovative phone case which allows users to take photos and videos from the top of their phone.

True to its name, the Periscope Case uses a mirror alongside the phone’s built-in camera to operate just like a periscope on a submarine. By reflecting the image into the camera, the phone can be mounted or held flat while still being able to take photos and videos along its length.

The article explains that Defox’s founder, Trevor deVos, came up with the idea when he needed to investigate his crawl space, but understandably did not want to venture in himself because it was filled with spiders. He made the first prototype of the Periscope Case with molded clay, mounted his phone to an RC car, and streamed the video to himself on Facebook. Problem solved!

3D printing: affordable small-scale manufacturing

DeVos quickly realized that he wasn’t the only do-it-yourselfer or handyman who would be able to benefit from the ability to shoot photos and videos in tight spaces with his phone. Additionally, sports enthusiasts and parents might also be interested in what he called “a poor man’s GoPro.”

At the same time, the Periscope Case’s market did not have a guaranteed size, and deVos wanted a way to move forward with the product without risking a large investment or committing to a final design too early. 3D printing was an obvious choice, since it produces durable, high-quality plastic products but does not require the expensive tooling, molds, or setup time associated with injection molding or machining.

To that end, RapidMade worked with Defox to begin manufacturing its Periscope Cases in batches of just 10 to 25 units using the HP Multi Jet Fusion, which allowed a ramp up of initial sales while continuing to modify the design without a large initial investment. Because of this, Defox has been able to research the market and refine its product. Now, they plan to continue to expand their manufacturing operation, both with the Periscope Case and other products using the same knowledge and supply chain.

New business models for new manufacturing technologies

Products like Defox’s Periscope Case illustrate the unprecedented benefit that 3D printing can offer to small businesses or other low-volume productions with affordable, flexible manufacturing solutions. Because of their low initial investment, customizability, and high quality, 3D printed products allow businesses to offer competitive value under constraints that would make traditional manufacturing prohibitively expensive, opening up new opportunities in under-served markets. Innovators like Defox are at the forefront of exploring new business models using additive manufacturing, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for them!

Source: https://www.additivemanufacturing.media/ar...
Posted
AuthorMicah Chaban
Categories3D Printing

Visit Johnson Controls with WiM Oregon!

Join WiM Oregon for a plant tour and networking event at Johnson Controls on Thursday, March 21! Johnson Controls has more than 100 years of experience delivering vehicle batteries to meet customers’ evolving needs. They provide batteries to global automakers and aftermarket distributors and retailers, and their global footprint, manufacturing capabilities, and value added services to deliver high quality products to customers in support of their growth, wherever they are located.  

We'll enjoy at plant tour of the Johnson Controls Canby facility, a light lunch, and networking with the Portland Workforce Alliance organization. We hope to see you there!

Date:
Thursday, March 21, 2019

Time:
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Location:
Johnson Controls 
800 NW 3rd Ave
Canby, OR 97013
United States 

Pricing:
Student: $10
Member: $15
Nonmember: $20

REGISTER HERE

When it comes to manufacturing technologies, it can be tempting to want to find one perfect solution that works for every situation. In practice, however, choosing the right technology for a given project is dependent upon the project’s particular demands.

In the cases of injection molding and 3D printing, both offer unique strengths. Rather than one being superior to the other, their differences actually compliment each other and can be used in conjunction during the development and manufacturing of the same project.

Injection molding is a cost-effective option for producing large volumes of plastic products.

Injection Molding: High-Volume Plastic Manufacturing

Injection molding is one of the oldest industrial technologies for high-volume plastic manufacturing, and there’s a reason it’s been at the top for so long. It produces high-quality parts with tight tolerances and offers excellent value for larger quantities of units.

At the same time, injection molding requires molds which can cost thousands of dollars and take weeks or even months to produce. Once the molds are produced, individual parts cost very little to manufacture. As a result, injection molding is very cost-effective above certain volumes of parts but can be prohibitively expensive for smaller runs.

3D printed nylon part manufactured with the HP Multi Jet Fusion.

3D Printing: Fast, Inexpensive and Highly Customizable

Compared to injection molding, 3D printing is a much younger technology which was initially used chiefly for prototyping and product development. With modern advances, it has become an excellent option for many full-scale manufacturing projects as well.

Unlike injection molding, 3D printing does not require any tooling or additional setup costs. Because of this, it is substantially faster and less expensive than injection molding for small to medium volumes of parts. Furthermore, 3D printing is able to produce complex geometries, internal features and organic shapes in a way that would be impossible to achieve with injection molding.

When is 3D Printing Cheaper than Injection Molding?

When it comes to assessing whether 3D printing or injection molding is a better fit for a given project, the biggest factor is often the number of units being produced. The exact tipping point for cost per unit depends on the part itself, but typically, orders of smaller than 1,000 to 2,000 units will be cheaper to 3D print, while orders larger than 2,000 units will be more well-suited to injection molding.

Although injection molding is quite time-consuming and expensive to get started, it is very cheap once it is up and running. As production quantity increases, the initial setup costs are distributed across more units, leading to an lower cost per unit. With 3D printing, on the other hand, the cost per unit is constant no matter how many units are made. As the number of units increases, the cost per unit of injection molding will eventually become lower than the cost per unit of 3D printing.

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3D Printing and Injection Molding for Product Development

Fortunately for manufacturers everywhere, we don’t have to choose sides but can take advantage of the complementary nature of the two even within a single product cycle. Since injection molding requires expensive tooling that cannot be modified after the fact, it is not well-suited to product development and iterative prototyping. Instead, 3D printing offers excellent value and unmatched speed for rapid prototyping.

Printing a new prototype is as easy as changing a digital model, and modern 3D printers like the HP Multi Jet Fusion can imitate the mechanical strength, finish quality and tight tolerances of injection molded parts. 3D printing can even be used to create patterns and tooling for urethane casting as a fast alternative to injection molding for prototyping or medium-sized production runs.

Finding the Right Manufacturing Technology for Your Needs

When it comes to evaluating whether 3D printing or injection molding is right for your project, the main consideration is the volume of parts you’re looking to produce. Simply put, 3D printing offers better value for small to medium runs, while injection molding is most cost effective for larger runs. Additional considerations like the complexity or customizability of your design can tip the balance further in favor of 3D printing.

More than anything, however, it's important to realize that there may be room for both technologies in any given supply chain. By playing into the strengths of each technology, manufacturers can get the best of both worlds and maximize their competitive advantages.

At RapidMade in Portland, OR, we work hard to find the best technologies for our clients’ unique needs for custom product development and full-scale manufacturing. Our manufacturing and engineering services include 3D printing, injection molding, urethane casting, vacuum thermoforming and more. Click here to learn more about our services and get started on your custom manufacturing solution today.

Posted
AuthorMicah Chaban

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that RapidMade’s website has many informative resources on our custom manufacturing, engineering, and interactive marketing services. But did you also know that RapidMade has local sales representatives who assist our customers across the country? Our sales reps are ready to help your business start taking advantage of our rapid manufacturing solutions with dedicated local relationships.

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Now, we’re pleased to announce that we’re expanding our local services to the Midwest with the addition of our newest sales representative, Daniel Diekmann. Daniel will be available for customers in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Tennessee and Kentucky. If you live in the Midwest and would like to talk to Daniel about working with RapidMade, give him a call at 503-751-2131 or email him at daniel@matterformgroup.com. You can see information for all of our sales representatives by clicking here.

Whether you are looking for 3D printing, thermoforming, machining or other services, RapidMade can help your business get the most from its products by providing faster manufacturing solutions at less cost. To get started with your project, get a custom quote in 24 hours or less with our easy-to-use quote tool.

Posted
AuthorMicah Chaban

Starting a new business presents many unique challenges. When it comes to product development and manufacturing, small businesses especially can face difficult restraints in time, budget, and scale. In these situations, 3D printing can offer an excellent opportunity to save time and expense over traditional technologies.

We recently published a case study about our work with Hoyt St Electric Skateboards, a Portland-based company that produces high-quality electric skateboards. As the Hoyt St team was developing their product, they initially sought to produce certain parts for their skateboards using metal stamping. However, they found the process to be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming, in part because of the tooling requirements for metal stamping. Additionally, they likely would have needed to produce these parts offshore, adding additional time to their development process.

With RapidMade, Hoyt St Electric Skateboards was able to save tens of thousands of dollars and months of development time by using 3D printed plastic parts manufactured with the HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer to produce their parts right here in Portland. 3D printed parts require no setup time or tooling and are ideal for quickly and inexpensively iterating designs. We were even able to help them produce designs that would have been impossible with traditional technologies like metal stamping or injection molding.

Once the Hoyt St team was ready to start manufacturing, we were able to help them seamlessly transition into full production runs at a scale that made sense for their business. The 3D printed nylon parts produced by the Multi Jet Fusion are durable enough to hold up to the performance demands of Hoyt St’s excellent products. To read more about our work with Hoyt St Electric Skateboards, check out the full case study here.

If you’d like to learn about how 3D printing could help your business, send us an email at info@rapidmade.com or give us a call at 503-943-2781. We’d love to hear from you!

Posted
AuthorMicah Chaban

At RapidMade, we love challenging ourselves to make cool stuff. Which is why we were blown away when we recently came across a truly inspiring series of videos from YouTuber Estefannie Explains It All about making her own 3D printed and vacuum thermoformed Daft Punk helmet, complete with programmable LED displays.

Not only did Estefannie have just 30 days to complete the project, she also had to teach herself how to 3D print and vacuum thermoform in that time. To make things even more challenging, she did it all in a home workshop she set up in her apartment. She even made her own thermoforming rig, for which she heated up the thermoplastic sheets in her oven!

Thermoforming gave Estefannie quite a bit of difficulty, at one point leading to melted plastic getting stuck to her oven rack. As an aside, it is important to note that many thermoplastics give off toxic fumes when heated and should not be thermoformed without proper ventilation.

We posted the thermoforming section below, but be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 3 to see the whole thing!

Estefannie does a great job leaning into the unique strengths of both technologies, even as she compensates for limitations of her DIY setup. Notably, she uses her 3D printer to create a thermoforming mold. As we’ve mentioned before, 3D printed rapid tooling is a great way to quickly create vacuum thermoformed or urethane cast parts at less cost.

The end result is simply awesome: all of Estefannie’s hard work and skilled finishing pays off with an extremely polished looking replica of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo’s iconic Daft Punk helmet. The custom LED sequences are particularly cool. Congratulations to Estefannie Explains It All for tackling such an impressive challenge and making something great!

If you’d like to have your own custom thermoformed and 3D printed products but don’t want to accidentally melt thermoplastic all over your oven, we can help! Check out our engineering and manufacturing services to learn more.

Posted
AuthorMicah Chaban

Last week, TheFabricator.com reported a 3D printing success story about VIBA, a French motorcycle manufacturer. VIBA wanted to make a limited-edition mini bike in homage to the iconic Honda Monkey, which they decided to call “Jane.”

The team faced one problem, however; they wanted to make the Jane in a run of just 23 bikes. Such a small manufacturing volume meant that the machined metal parts typically used in motorcycle manufacturing would be prohibitively expensive.

The solution to their problem came in the form of 3D printed metal. Not only did the 3D printed metal parts cost substantially less per unit than their traditionally manufactured alternatives, but they also did not require any tooling, molds or lead times. The combined cost and time benefits of 3D metal printing allowed VIBA to produce a fun and innovative homage to a cult favorite that would otherwise have been impossible to manufacture.

In addition, the versatility offered by 3D printing allowed the VIBA team to take a novel approach to designing the Jane. Because 3D printers can create complex geometries that would not be possible to machine, designers were able to combine multi-piece assemblies into single parts, like the Jane’s combination mudguard/headlight support. They were also able to create hollow levers which allow wiring for signal lights to pass through.

Perhaps the most exciting part of VIBA’s Jane is the 3D printed aluminum gas tank, which has a unique internal honeycomb design  To begin with, this lightweight design is printed in a single piece and eliminates the welding required by traditional gas tanks.

But it’s the functional benefits to riders that really set this gas tank apart. By breaking up the interior space of the gas tank, the honeycomb structure prevents gas from sloshing back and forth as the bike jostles around, keeping the bike more balanced and creating a smoother ride.

VIBA’s story is a great example of how 3D printing can provide businesses with cost-effective and innovative design solutions. At RapidMade, we are dedicated to helping our customers achieve their manufacturing goals using the most advanced technologies on the market. Click here to learn more about our 3D printing services.

Congratulations to VIBA on making such an exciting product!

The folks at 3DPrint.com recently reported that BMW Group used the HP Multi Jet Fusion to print their millionth 3D printed car part. According to the article, BMW Group has been using additive manufacturing technologies for the last 25 years. The number of 3D printed parts in their manufacturing operations has risen sharply, with an estimated 200,000 parts to be printed in 2018—a 42% increase since last year.

So what was the millionth part? A 3D printed window guide rail for the BMW i8 roadster. According to 3DPrint.com, the guide rail was developed in just five days and is part of the first wave of parts being printed by the Multi Jet Fusion for BMW. It’s far from the only part BMW produces using additive manufacturing, however. They also use SLS and other technologies to produce plastic and metal parts for many of their vehicles, including made-to-order custom parts for their customers. Per the article, Rolls-Royce, which is owned by BMW Group, currently uses 10 different 3D printed parts for their cars.

While many car manufacturers use additive manufacturing to produce tooling, BMW Group has been a pioneer in using 3D print technologies to create the parts themselves. They first started using 3D printers to make parts in 2010. In 2012, they began using SLS to manufacture parts for the Rolls-Royce Phantom. And it doesn’t look like they have any plans to slow down. This year, they built an entire Additive Manufacturing Campus, so keep an eye on more 3D printing innovations to come.

Here at RapidMade, we know firsthand how effective the HP Multi Jet Fusion is at manufacturing high-performance 3D printed parts faster and at less cost than any other 3D printer on the market. Still, it’s exciting to see world-class engineers like those at BMW Group taking advantage of such a promising technology.

If you’d like to see how Multi Jet Fusion printing or any of our manufacturing services could help your business, get started today by filling out our quote form. We’ll get back to you with a quote in 24 hours or less!