Re: Examples of rapid manufacturing

From: PDSI (
Date: Thu Jun 29 2000 - 21:45:40 EEST

I realize that the process we employ at PDSI does not deliver an RP as the end
product to the consumer.  However, if it were not for the RP, many production
jobs we do deliver would not have been possible to begin with. By focusing only

on our process, and contracting all of our RP business out, we consistently
deliver to our clients initial production parts, custom pigmented, and
textured, five to seven days after receipt of STL files.

At PDSI, we utilize rapid prototypes almost exclusively for the creation of
precision patterns.  When an order is received, we contract RP's and begin
making mold making components.  two to three days later, the pattern(s)
arrive.  We then manually finish the surface to a level acceptable for a
particular application.  We then mount the pattern on a plate inside a custom
box which also includes parting line shapes.  RTV silicone or an epoxy is then
cast on top of this assembly.  The next day, the box is flipped over, the
supporting plate inside the box with the parting line shapes are removed.  We
then strategically position vents, fill ports, and mold flow channels (various
diameter rods).  A mold release is applied, and the 2nd half of the mold is
cast.  The following day the two halves are separated, the pattern, vents,
channels, and fill port rods are removed and a final QC is performed.
Thereafter, we begin production utilizing any of the thermoset compounds with
physical characteristics suitable for that particular product application.  In
some cases we can produce parts from these tools every 5 minutes.  On the
opposite extreme, one part per cavity every day.

For clients that need hundreds or thousands of parts per year, we take the two
mold halves, make negative castings of the cavity side, from which we then cast

multiple tools for higher volume production.  Coupled with multi-cavity molds,
we do produce in some cases hundreds of parts per day.

Traditionally this process has been considered strictly a prototyping process.
By combining manufacturing engineering, and streamlining the process into
dedicated departments we now produce many components annually for the
aerospace, pasteurizing, textile, medical training devices, training aids,
plastic cabinetry, and other industry.  And of course, we do service the RP
industry with multiple prototype parts.

So you tell me,  Do we deliver RP or production?



Craig Potter
2632-C Pleasant Union Ch. Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27614
(919) 848-0123 / fax (919) 870-8072 /

"Terry T. Wohlers" wrote:

> Hello everyone,
> I know that many of you are interested in the idea of using an RP process
> for the production of end-use manufactured parts.  I am interested in
> hearing from those of you that are optimistic about this as a future use of
> the technology.  Specifically, if you have used methods of RP to produce
> final manufactured parts, are exploring the possibility, or have ideas that
> you'd like to share, please send them.  I am interested in as many examples
> and potential applications of rapid manufacturing as possible.
> Thanks!
> Terry
> **********
> Terry Wohlers
> Wohlers Associates, Inc.
> OakRidge Business Park
> 1511 River Oak Drive
> Fort Collins, Colorado 80525 USA
> 970-225-0086
> Fax 970-225-2027
> For more information about the rp-ml, see

For more information about the rp-ml, see

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