Which online Rapid Prototype vendors would you use?
- Redeye RPM
This topic has been touched on previously but there have been ongoing improvements to the rp/rm technologies and the web-based systems that allow for online quoting, and so I’m curious about user experiences. I always rely on a local model shop and want to expand my bubble. Care to share?
A link to the service, the quote process (hopefully automated), the type of service (Polyjet, SLA, SLS, FDM, whatever), material selected (ABS, Nylon, etc), level of finish and finally a rating (from * to *****) would be an excellent resource imo. And btw, if there’s already an online site that provides this, give it up.
I also use a local model shop but I do use the online quoting to get a cost estimate for proposals. My guy has been more $$ only once compared to online services. Here are a couple.
I also heard IDEO (at least the Chicago office) outsources its model making to China. Does anyone know their resources?
I check my Favorites. You can get more here.
I am familiar with all of the links you provided, iab. Could you provide the kinds of additional information which I and probably others are not familiar? Please see my initial post. Thanks.
I’ve added a poll to the OP.
Limited slots but if yours isn’t there use “Other” and list it. Thanks.
have to keep and eye on this one… I’ll ask my buddy at Ideo, see if he will be willing to cough up that info.
I had great luck with 3D Cam (http://www.3d-cam.com) at my previous job. All the rapid prototyping is done in house at my new job.
Since China has become the workshop to the world for high labor products that can be shipped elsewhere it makes good sense that it’s a good location for prototypes. I’ve been using Chinese model shops for years. Like anything, there are good ones and not-so-good ones.
Arrk Prototypes has an interesting business model. They have a huge network of shops around the world and balance workload and price by using different shops for different types of work. Sometimes your prototype will come from the US and other times from Japan or China. I actually stumbled on one of their shops in China around the corner from our factory. They did beautiful work, but had a price tag to match. The other local Chinese shops were much cheaper.
There aren’t many rapid prototyping machines in China yet because the labor content of a CNC prtotype is much cheaper than the initial SLA / SLS machine investment and supplies. Many shops also work 3 shifts to get things done faster for the impatient American designers. Painting and polishing is cheap in China, but the quality standards need to be established up front. If you don’t specify a high polish surface be prepared for orange peel…