Rapid prototyping or rapid prototyping services refer to a whole assembly of techniques that are used to rapidly manufacture or duplicate a sample model of a physical portion or assembly with the help of CAD data or three-dimensional computer aided design. Creation of the assembly or part of it is usually done through additive layer manufacturing or 3D printing technology (these terms are often used interchangeably).
There are a whole host of items that fall under rapid prototyping and help cover rapid prototyping services. These are all services companies and industries eagerly look for these days. Manufacturing has gone up significantly due to these rapid prototyping services. The continuous advancement and enhancement of rapid prototyping services has helped both manufacturers and customers alike. With new innovation, whether on the technological front or the ideological front, it’s never a surprise to see what new product is available in the market, which falls under the rapid prototyping umbrella. One such product is the rapid prototyping headphones which were on demand by a company called Monster.
Monster is considered as one of the world’s foremost and leading producers of high enactment cables for video and/or audio modules that are utilized in the office, home, car or other transport settings. These cables that are produced by Monster are an extensively renowned product known by recording studios, musicians, audiophiles, sound professionals, professionals working in the audio industry, home theater buffs and custom-installers alike.
Monster came to the company FATHOM looking for six headphones that were prototyping headphones. They wanted to come up with an original design, a design which would be used by well-known celebrities as well as models during an event being held in Paris. Monster also intended to unveil its new partnership of a brand during the event itself. Hence, it wanted a fast turnaround, as the completed models would soon be carried by hand on an airplane headed to Europe within eight days.
According to Monster’s Director of Manufacturing and Quality, Mike Reikerd, he was given a daunting project that he felt was near impossible to get done; the project of six finished models within the span of a mere eight days, that too for the largest fashion show which would be held in Paris. He discovered FATHOM online on a Thursday, then had the files done and NDA’s by Friday, completed a review for the design by Saturday and had the 3D printing work by that same afternoon! The whole process was a rush but well done. By the time Mr. Reickerd started processing what he had just completed, he must have been quite proud of his accomplishment!
“None of this was capable without FATHOM and the awesome effort the FATHOM staff gave to me. I am truly a fan of FATHOM. You are forever on my go to and referral list.” — Mike Reickerd, Director of Manufacturing and Quality at Monster Products
The team at FATHOM evaluated the model (CAD) and recommended changes that could help to maximize the printer speed, decrease project complexity and increase model robustness to encounter the quick turnaround needs. Monster decided to have the key body 3D printed, CNC machine adaptable headband and small accents and complete the model using custom paint. They didn’t finish at this, extra accents were also added.
According to FATHOM’s Tony Slavik, the Manager for Prototype Studio, right the next day, they were busy holding a conference call with a CAD specialist, a machinist and a paint specialist, in order to coordinate all of their efforts. They wanted to handle the rush efficiently. Considering the short time span they had in hand, the team at FATHOM recommended the customer over essential changes and adjustments for the interior design. This came as great help so both teams would be content by the end and time wouldn’t be wasted when it was already so limited. The objective was to keep in line all of the aesthetic features all the while simplifying and abridging the assembly so that the greatest amount of it could be painted, sanded and 3D printed. This would cut down significantly on the production time without changing or altering the design intent.
Mr. Slavik further stated that with the maximum amount of the gathering being 3D printed, it was easier for them to modify the metal accents, which helped to simplify the CNC machining of those particular parts. It also helped them meet the tight deadline further. By the end, the assembly of 3D printed material was manufactured on a special material in VeroBlue. Objet 500 Connex3 in VeroBlue is considered a great material for models that have a requirement of being need painted and sanded. The type of material also made this process easier to complete on time.
Slavik further added that the material is marginally softer and smoother than other materials made from Vero; which helped to assemble the bodywork more swiftly. Additionally, the color apparently caught shadows well in order to allow for any flaws or defects to be noted, in case they needed extra sanding. Within just a matter of days, the models were finished and conveyed on time to the fashion show held in Paris. It was hats off to FATHOM and Monster for working so well together in order to come up with rapid prototyping special headphone that were meant for celebrities and models.
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