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From Prototyping to Production

The path from prototyping to production poses a number of challenges. The company that’s most successful during this transition are best positioned for success moving forward. With our traditional manufacturing background and key vendors we work with clients from the prototype phase through to production, hopefully these key factors to success can provide some insight into your next project:

Start with 3D Printing to Create Rapid Prototypes

Many firms choose SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) for their initial prototypes due to cost, fit and function that this technology provides. Depending on your industry, SLA, CJP and FDM printing are also good options. SLS, builds parts using a strong, flexible nylon material, is an ideal fit in most instances. The process is accurate, fast and cost-effective – particularly on a low-volume basis, and allows clients to quickly fit-check their design and make any adjustments before gravitating to subtractive machining (where errors can potentially be more costly).

3D printed prototypes at Klacam can be built in two to four business days and can include custom finishes and hardware installations.

Note: other 3D printing processes for creating prototypes include FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling), CJP (ColorJet Printing) and SLA (Stereolithography).

Use Design for Manufacturing Techniques to Reduce Costs

Many engineering designs involve geometries to be manufactured using traditional subtractive machining methods. However, in many cases if you manufactured these designs from a single block of material, you would end up with large amount of material wasted. Removing this material requires expensive machining time, materials and potentially other operations — all of which adds to the manufacturing costs.

Scale Up to Meet Demand

At Klacam, all parts are built on-demand and with no set-up costs. This allows customers to scale as demand grows.

Start by ordering a relatively small number of parts — for example 10 units — just enough to fulfill your initial purchase order and increase quantities as needed. This technique generates two key benefits:

  1. Reduced upfront costs
  2. Minimized inventory costs

And since overhead is low, companies are able to iterate on their design and gear up for launch in new markets. Looking ahead, your company can improve on design and scale production to meet demand while the part is being manufactured.

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