Build (Almost) Anything with 3D Printing

October 17, 2016

Welcome to the future. Before 3D printing, waiting for the right part could delay manufacturing production and lead to a loss of profits. With the help of modern technology, those missing parts can be manufactured quickly and efficiently.

What exactly is 3D printing?

3D printing makes tangible objects from computer renderings. It is also commonly referred to as Additive Manufacturing, especially in the fabrication industry. At NW Rapid, we specialize in Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), a manufacturing technique that uses a laser to fuse a powdered material into a  solid form. The technology allows us to fabricate tangible objects from Computer Aided Design (CAD) files.

What are the advantages over traditional manufacturing?

Traditional fabrication leaves more room for error. To 3D print, you first have to create the design on a computer. This gives you the time to perfect the exact dimensions and be as precise as possible. Then, the machines print the design just like you would print a computer document (but on a much bigger printer!). This means you can verify the specifications of a part before the manufacturing process even starts!

Additive manufacturing also takes less time and less money than traditional manufacturing. Because the turnaround between idea and final product is faster, making variations of the same part and trying different designs doesn't have to be cost-prohibitive!

Will the parts last?

It's normal to be skeptical of new technologies. After all, the traditional manufacturing methods have held up for generations. But, there's no need to e skeptical of 3D printing. NW Rapid Manufacturing uses Nylon 11 and Nylon 12 plastics that are extremely durable. In fact, the parts we've manufactured for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have withstood a combined 800,000 hours of flight time. Now, that's strong! Nylon 12 plastics are also FDA-compliant as certified food safe.

What should I print first?

Anything you want or need! Of course, some designs are better than others but you'll never know if you can print it out until you email your CAD file over to the manufacturers at NW Rapid. Our experts will let you know if we can print your part as-is, or how to make your design ready-to-print!

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