Rapid Prototype christmas list

Hey thought this would be a good source for input from those who use it. List some of the constraints that you feel are hurdles that have not been overcome in the rapid prototyping (physical models) arena. Materials, function, appearance, etc. One of my feelings on the subject is that there is not a well known or good resource from which to draw information pertaining to the best process, materials and cost. I run a RP service buraeu and would like to see what problems there are from a designers view. Thanks
Chris McCoy
R&D Prototype

Nobody hits a wall when it comes to getting prototypes they want? example see attached.
We developed a process for clear and color transparent SLA bottles for customers needing
high quality models for focus group study.

I love rapid prototyping. I wish it was cheap and fast enough for short run manufacturing.

My wish list would be a machine that can print several different materials at once and still be economical and fast.

if you could make it higher quality, cheaper, and rapid-er that would be awesome.

Have those bottle samples been produced as a single part or have you oriented the samples in the photo so as not to see the partline?

The bottles are 1 piece. The violin was built from a scan we did of a glass bottle from the Czek republic. If p-lines were wanted on the model they would need to be in the file. It is a 2 day lead time from when we recieve the file for this type of level of finish. 1 day lead time for a sanded and bead blast finish.

Quality depends on the RP process you choose and the service provider.
See below to find out how we combat high prices but first lets look at why prices are what they are:
RP Machine sales companies don’t tell people about the true cost of say an SLA machine - yearly software maintenance $2500, machine maintenance for 3 machines $10,000 , Laser replacement every 2-4 years $40,000 per machine, post processing materials and disposal, so on and so on.
I agree price is tough on individuals who do not have a large company bank account writting the checks. It will be driven by material cost until the patents are up, but also the machine technology is a huge factor
One way we address the high price (and it is relative when you save thousands from not having to change the design after you have already went to tooling) is to not charge a minimum fee on small parts. We also have real people to speak with and not the automated quote systems - this way we can discuss the projects to find out the cheapest way to build and still give the customer what they want or need. You will notice that a lot of the companies that run the automated quote systems change the price when it comes time to run the job - or ask that changes to the design be made. We have the cheapest build time rates in the industry because all of our machines are paid off and instead of making intrest payments we pass that savings to the customer to bring in more business.
We also give engineering students and art school students discounts

This is a question that comes up at the 3D user group every year - how long do we have to wait?
We run parts on a Polyjet machine that builds in different materials - hard shore hardness and soft shore hardness in one build, but you are still limited on material properties.
In some cases (medical device for example)RP is cheaper for production. Panels or housings for an MRI machine that has low yearly production #'s - it is cheaper to build silicone molds and shoot urethane parts than pay for tooling for that large of a part.
We have to remember - most cases you get what you pay for. As the use of RP technology increases so will the machine technology itself.

There is a local source that can help answer all your questions. They are outstanding in their high quality work, and fast service and low prices which answers the questions all of you had.

Rapid Prototyping

Post up a few pics of hurdles that have been cleared. It’s always fun to see what everyone is doing. Here is a fully functioning living hinge that also had a tamper evident strap similiar to a milk jug that R&D Prototype did for Heinz. SLA masters & necks, RTV mold and 2 (proprietary urethane) parts shipped in 3 days.