The flexibility that Rapid Prototyping delivers in manufacturing prototypes is considerable, hence the excitement about using these technologies for production. (Rapid Manufacture) However, as part size gets smaller and smaller the mainstream systems begin to struggle to achieve the resolution and accuracies required, and it becomes necessary to evaluate alternative methodologies.
Whilst there are companies that now specialise in micro moulding and the associated tooling and others that focus on principles such as photo etching and laser micromachining, these processes are not always suited to today's 3D geometry or the prototype environment.
Additionally, there can be trouble sourcing meso-scale parts. These are best defined as items that are too small for the conventional approach yet too large to be taken on cost effectively by micro technologies.
Plunkett Associates involvement in this area originated through work with specific clients who were seeking manufacturing solutions or cost savings. Not only were new processes highlighted but also economic cost savings were delivered, allowing the projects to progress.
The breadth of geometry, materials, processes and speed is considerable, so contact Plunkett Associates directly with respect to your project.