Rogue Engineering, a NJ-based manufacturer of performance automotive products, needed to test out a pre-production prototype design for a new suspension bushing for an Aston Martin. But instead of using traditional CNC machining, the engineers tried an integrative additive manufacturing service provider, RP Marketplace.
Service providers like RP Marketplace are a key resource for engineers in the additive manufacturing (AM) arena. Many offer tips and advice, as well as connect you to companies that can make prototypes for you when you do not have access to your own AM machine.
When the engineering team at Rogue submitted their design to RP Marketplace, they received several bids within a few hours from a range of suppliers, each of whom offered a solution with a different material and printer. Rogue compared the bids using RP Marketplace’s built-in comparison tools and awarded the project to Impressive Prototypes, a prototyping and engineering firm in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Another tool offered by RP Marketplace is the integrated Project Workshop, which Ben Liaw, co-owner of Rogue Engineering, used to streamline the communication process and exchange files with Kyle Squillace, the Project Manager at Impressive Prototypes. The part was built on a Stratasys Objet 30 Pro printer. By the end of the following morning, the prototype suspension bushing was packaged and ready to ship to Liaw at his NJ facility.
Just three days after posting the project, Liaw received his part and was able to test fit it in the actual suspension pieces. “It gave me an idea of what tolerances I need to keep for a production unit,” Liaw noted. “This process probably saved me thousands of dollars and a tremendous amount of time in development.”
Liaw knew additive manufacturing was a viable option, but being relatively new to additive manufacturing, he was unsure of the steps needed. RP Marketplace not only gave Liaw exposure to quality suppliers, but he also learned about the different materials and processes directly from the bids. Liaw has since used this process for other projects.