Rapid Prototyping

At Marian we pride ourselves on being able to produce high quality prototypes quickly. Prototypes are usually produced in relatively small quantities used by the customer to verify design, evaluate material choices, and build prototypes of the final assembly.  Provide us with a CAD file (.dxf format is best) along with information about your part and we can typically produce your prototypes within 24 to 48 hours (using stock materials).

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Manufacturing Methods used for Prototyping

Prototype parts are typically produced from processes that are not expected to be used when production quantities are required. Read more about the methods we use to produce prototypes below.

CAD Files to Produce Prototypes with Laser, Water-jet and Plotters

With a two dimensional CAD file (.dxf format is best), we can import the file to a computer program and are able to cut parts the same day with Lasers, Water-Jet, and Plotters.  With each of these methods, we avoid tooling costs, and are able to move very quickly.  If materials are stocked or readily available at Marian, we can ship a few prototypes the next day.

The factors below determine whether we use Laser, Water-jet, or Plotter to produce the prototype parts:

  • material composition and the material thickness
  • the foot-print (size) and geometry (complexity) of the part
  • the tolerances required

Using “Soft Tooling” to produce parts with Flat-bed or Rotary Die Cutting

In addition to the methods mentioned above, we can also build chem-etched or steel-rule cutting dies to produce prototypes on flat-bed punch presses or rotary die-cutting presses. While there is some initial tooling expense, “Soft tooling” is typically less expensive than “hard tooling”. These methods can often achieve tighter tolerance than CAD-cutting techniques.  Additionally, the actual cutting process of each part is faster than the CAD-cutting methods described above.

In need of prototypes quickly?

Contact us for help.  You can complete the form by clicking the link below and submit a sketch, drawing or CAD file.  One of our sales engineers will get in touch with you the same or next day.