Benefits of 3D Printing for Prototyping
PHB is a United States-based full-service manufacturer of products in the aluminum die casting, zinc die casting, and tool & die industries. Our Pennsylvania plant has produced castings for some of the largest OEMs in the U.S., from the commercial appliance and automotive industries to the U.S. military. PHB offers turnkey manufacturing solutions that start with mold design and testing and carry all the way through finishing and packaging.
There is one capability that can be specifically beneficial during the development and prototyping phase: 3D printing. PHB is capable of facilitating 3D printing for a variety of applications and industries, including prototyping and the production of durable, end-use products for in-house use. Contact us today to discuss whether your next project could benefit from 3D printing.
Our 3D Printing Capabilities | Size & Materials for 3D Printing
PHB utilizes a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printer to print a material known as thermoplastic filament, a high-performance plastic material that is pliable when heated during the 3D printing process and solid once cooled. We also use a Dual Extrusion printer that is capable of printing multiple materials in a single print, as well as multiple colors of the same material in one print.
PHB is capable of printing just about any and all FDM printer materials available, including durable, engineering-grade materials such as ABS, polycarbonate, NylonX carbon fiber reinforced, NylonK Kevlar reinforced, and NylonG glass-reinforced; each of these materials contains certain properties that make them more or less ideal for specific applications. 3D printing is a versatile manufacturing process, allowing us to print strong, end-use parts that we use in-house for tooling and fixture components, alongside more basic materials that are used for prototyping and internal reference. PHB is capable of printing parts in one piece up to roughly one cubic foot (13” x 9.4” x 11.8”). We are also able to print larger parts in multiple sections and assemble them for our customers after the fact.
Applications & Benefits of 3D Printing for Prototyping
Currently, PHB’s 3D printing has been used to create a wide variety of products, including fixture components, trim die components, custom robot grippers, part prototypes, and specifically, CNC fixture components. The benefits of utilizing 3D printing for your project can run the gamut from cost to the convenience of having a representative part in hand.One of the largest benefits of 3D printing is the reduction of fixture and tooling costs. Because CAD files can be imported into and directly read by a 3D printer, it also saves us the time of programming additional machining equipment.
It is worth noting that the design process rarely ends after the first prototype is created; considering material costs and reduced production time, 3D printing allows us to create multiple iterations of a prototype if necessary once the prototype is tested. This is a process that originally could take months, potentially reduced to a matter of days. Lastly, 3D printing allows PHB to have your part in hand to reference while designing tooling and even supply our customers with parts as we are still developing their finalized design.
PHB Offers 3D Printing Services for Prototyping and End-Use Products
3D printing is just one of the many manufacturing capabilities offered by PHB that contributes to the greater manufacturing process. If your project requires the use of a 3D printer, we’d love to help. Contact us today to learn more about our 3D printing capabilities and how they can benefit your next project.
Could Your Project Benefit From 3D Printing?