3D Printing - Functional Prototyping Solutions - Surrogate Parts
Some manufacturing components' only function is to occupy the space that it will fill in the final product. Claiming this space offers assessment and confirmation of critical installation issues such as assembly, serviceability, routing and interfaces. The component can either be purchased or manufactured. However, for high-value parts with complex designs, and long lead times, the investment may be unwarranted and ill advised. During the time between installation assessment and final product assembly, design modifications could occur and parts may possibly be damaged during repeated installation cycles. If this occurs, the component must be either repaired or replaced. Another disadvantage of using production components is the rise of expenses and schedules may be delayed by late deliveries.
How it Works
Mock-ups may be substituted for production components during the assembly and interface evaluation phase of a project. For simple configurations, all necessary detail can be incorporated in a machined or fabricated part that is inserted in the product assembly. However, when the subassemblies are complex, the mock-up may be oversimplified, which can result in an oversight of installation and interface problems.
Surrogate components preserve all of the critical details for an installation while minimizing expense and lead time when they are manufactured with Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). Produced when needed, with up-to-date configuration changes, the FDM surrogates will confirm clearances and interfaces for installation assessment; highlight serviceability issues; and validate routing interfaces for wiring harnesses and fluid conduits. As soon as the product is complete, the FDM surrogates are efficiently used as a training aid for assembly technicians or field service personnel.
FDM works by extruding small beads of thermoplastic material through a nozzle that is moved by a numerically controlled mechanism in layers that harden immediately. The additive process creates the surrogates in a matter of hours or days at a lot lower cost of production. This lowers acquisition cost and defers expenses until final assembly while shortening lead times.
Since FDM requires no tooling, design revisions are easily added in the following iterations when neighboring subassemblies are modified.
New surrogates are easily created according to the last design revision. The thermoplastic surrogates are also lightweight and non-marring. This makes installation easier and reduces the possibility of damaging nearby components.
The Proto3000 Advantage
Proto3000 offers 3D printers with Polyjet and FDM technology. Our manufacturing facility is equipped to cater to every application request no matter the extent of your project. Our Services team is able to create CAD files and functioning prototypes for you in a short time. Call the Proto3000 services team right now to ensure that your surrogate parts are ready to be used in your manufacturing process.
If you want to speak to a LIVE PERSON - CALL 1-888-88-PROTO (77686).
The Technology Used for Creating 3D Printed Concept Models
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Technology
Using FDM technology allows affordability and durability by printing concept models with production-grade thermoplastics.
FDM 3D Printers are office friendly and they produce small models in hours and large models in days. The FDM printed models can be drilled, sanded and painted according to your preference to create a perfect finishing of your prototype.
PolyJet 3D Printing Technology
As a 3D printing process, this technology produces amazingly realistic models. The printing technology builds accurate models by incorporating multiple materials into one automated part to create prototypes that look and feel like finished products. With fine details, smooth surfaces, rigid housings, soft-touch buttons, lettering, rubberlike seals and even clear components, your models can look the part at a trade show, a presentation or even during a sales pitch.