Re: Can RP be a manufacturing technology?

Date: Fri Jul 10 1998 - 08:52:18 EEST

My name is Bob Morton I am the Director of technology at Industrial
Molds(USA)/ Ferbe(Sweden) one of the top moldmaking organizations in the
world. In business over 40 years.
           I think the scene in Toy soldiers was filmed at 3D systems
technology center in Valencia Ca. I have not seen the movie. Our Fusion
engineering division is currently the only commercial licensee of the 3D
systems Keltool process. (Visit for more info) The Keltool
process was originally developed by 3M corporation over 20 years ago. The
process is very mature and straightforward. I can describe what we did on one
job you can form your own opinions about the results.
      We were 2 weeks into the construction of a 2 cavity hardened mold to
produce a speaker housing for an electronics unit on a popular Minivan. The
delivery was 14 weeks. The car company began advertising the feature on TV and
realized they needed the product on the market much sooner. The best we could
do on that mold would be to cut the delivery to 10 weeks, that wasn't good
enough. Just 2 weeks before we had signed the licensing agreement with 3D
systems for the Keltool process. They found out about it and asked if we could
use this process to build the mold. We agreed to build the mold in 4 weeks
delivery. The mold had to be production quality and production certified. What
they call P-PAP in the car industry. The mold was delivered on time and is
currently running production. this was the first production certified mold
ever built for this car company using RP/RT technology.
      We designed the mold cavities using Pro Engineer (about 3-4 days). We
then built the SLA masters on our SLA-3500 Stereo Lithography machine. ( 1-2
days). Poured silicone reverse molds and poured Keltool metal cavities (1-2
days). Then furnace sintering and infiltration (5 days). Mold finishing,
fitting all the shutoffs, and polishing. (1-1.5 weeks). And finally molding
350 pieces and certified inspections (1-2 weeks). This mold is capable of at
least 5 million shots in its lifetime. This is a pretty typical deliver
schedule and we can deliver any quantity of molds you desire in this times
frame. You have an open invitation to visit any of our facilities worldwide.
You can contact me at 815-397-2971 or via Email at The only
reason I am responding to your posting is your comment "there seems to be a
long way to go..." I have spent a lifetime building molds and feel we aren't
doing too badly.
Bob Morton

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