Design & Prototyping

CAD Drawing and Design Services

Every great product starts with great design! Advance Plastics provides full service design and modeling to develop professional drawings and 3D models. Our talented design team will work with you to develop the ideal part you need for your application. Once designed, we can build you a prototype for review prior to creating a mold for production.

Our 25 years experience in the molding business will help make your custom plastic part in the most cost-effective manner.

All decision making takes place on one level. Meaning, the person you are dealing with will have the power to help you make decisions quickly based on extensive experience in the custom injection molding business.

Visualization capabilities are enhanced in the early design phase with use of Rapid Prototyping. This helps the user get a good idea of how the final product will look by observing the working model in its early design stage. This also helps to detect design flaws before the manufacturing process is initiated. The development time is reduced considerably, hence rapid prototyping proves to be quite cost effective.

At Advanced Plastics we offer six types of Rapid Prototyping. These include: 3D Printing, Fused Deposit Modeling (FDM), Inkjet Methods, Stereolithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), and CNC Machining. The table below shows some of the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

Method Advantages Disadvantages
3D Printing Fast fabrication
Low material cost
Variety of colors
No external supports are required
Low resolution
Poor surface finish
Part fragility
Limited materials available
Fused Deposit Modeling Numerous materials Available
ABS, PC, PPS
Casting waxes available
Nylon like polymer
Water soluble materials (usage of water soluble materials allow support structures to be easily removable)
Good layer bonding with ABS materials
Quick turnover time for small part production
Good for parts with thin walls
Slow production rates for thick sectioned parts
Secondary operations are needed to remove support structures
Poorer surface finishes
Inkjet Methods Capable of producing fine finishes
Fast production of parts when using multiple jet heads
Long production times for parts with fine finishes
Less accuracy when using multiple jet heads
Supports must be removed in secondary operations
Additional operation needed to provide uniform layer thickness
Stereolithography Good accuracy (approximately + 0.005 inches)
Superior surface finish
Able to use a wide range of materials
Compatible with several color changing materials
Widely available
Liquid materials tend to be messy
Parts produced may require a post-curing operation in a separate oven
Fewer compatible materials
Warpage and shrinkage issues
Requires supports
Selective Laser Sintering No supports required
No final curing process required
Can fabricate metal and ceramic parts
Rough surface finishing
Need to infiltrate parts with another material to improve mechanical characteristics
Unable to replicate molded parts
Material changeovers are difficult
CNC Machining
Wide range of materials
Ability to hold tight tolerances
Parts machined directly from 3D CAD models
Higher price
Parts may require mounting tabs
Sharp inside corners are difficult to produce
Method
3D Printing

Advantages:
Fast fabrication
Low material cost
Variety of colors
No external supports are required

Disadvantages
Low resolution
Poor surface finish
Part fragility
Limited materials available

Method
Fused Deposit Modeling

Advantages:
Numerous materials Available
ABS, PC, PPS
Casting waxes available
Nylon like polymer
Water soluble materials (usage of water soluble materials allow support structures to be easily removable)
Good layer bonding with ABS materials
Quick turnover time for small part production
Good for parts with thin walls

Disadvantages
Slow production rates for thick sectioned parts
Secondary operations are needed to remove support structures
Poorer surface finishes

Method
Inkjet Methods

Advantages:
Capable of producing fine finishes
Fast production of parts when using multiple jet heads

Disadvantages
Long production times for parts with fine finishes
Less accuracy when using multiple jet heads
Supports must be removed in secondary operations
Additional operation needed to provide uniform layer thickness

Method
Stereolithography

Advantages:
Good accuracy (approximately + 0.005 inches)
Superior surface finish
Able to use a wide range of materials
Compatible with several color changing materials
Widely available

Disadvantages
Liquid materials tend to be messy
Parts produced may require a post-curing operation in a separate oven
Fewer compatible materials
Warpage and shrinkage issues
Requires supports

Method
Selective Laser Sintering

Advantages:
No supports required
No final curing process required
Can fabricate metal and ceramic parts

Disadvantages
Rough surface finishing
Need to infiltrate parts with another material to improve mechanical characteristics
Unable to replicate molded parts
Material changeovers are difficult

If you are looking for a quick turnaround time on a prototype for a part in anticipation of a larger production run, contact Advance Plastics. Let us help you decide what is best for your application.