RE: [rp-ml] Design for (Rapid) Manufacturing

From: Taylor, Tracy L PWR <>
Date: Thu Mar 12 2009 - 19:22:20 EET

I'm going to venture a guess that there are quite a few others that
would call it manufacturing if the end use is a production part.
Regardless of the quantity. For the coolant controller ducts used on the
Space Shuttle Main engine our entire production run with spares was
about 20 parts. The parts were designed from the start to be
manufactured using the SLS process.The parts produced are tracked and
serialized like any other production part. It's just low volume
production. In addition we build tools, tooling, packaging, etc to
support our various production processes. We view it as a production
I know a yacht manufacturer that produces 1-6 parts per year depending
on production. I'm sure they don't consider their effort prototyping.
Pat, myself, and others may not be as much of a rare case as you think.

From: [] On
Behalf Of Warner, Pat
Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2009 2:33 AM
Subject: RE: [rp-ml] Design for (Rapid) Manufacturing

Whilst I get where you're coming from, to my mind an end use
part/product is manufacturing no matter what the quantity, material or
manufacturing method employed to make it. Yes, you can argue that my
entire product is a prototype especially as my batch sizes are so small
and life cycles so short, so I'll clarify my last example. Major
aerospace companies are using these systems to make standard components
for production military aircraft.
Quote from your follow up email to David and Shane
"If one comes from a "manufacturing" background, RP/RM isnt
manufacturing. If one looks up the word in the dictionary without regard
to anything else, then maybe it is."
IMO I do come from a manufacturing background, but my entire career has
been based about low volume products does that make me a prototyper? In
a previous life I worked for a leading cryogenics company, we invented,
prototyped and then manufactured MRI body scanners. These systems are
now found in most major hospitals around the world, but the batch sizes
were no larger, in some cases smaller than the ones I deal with in
racing. Does that mean they were all prototypes even though 20 years on
some of the same units are still in use?
Back then we made most things by hand or on manual machines. We had some
CNC equipment but our capacity was small. The CAD/CAM packages weren't
available, so all of the complex parts were designed and manufactured
the hard way. Looking back, some of the components that I made then
would have been a great fit for the systems I use today.
-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: 12 March 2009 05:13
To:; Warner, Pat
Cc: Joe Kerer
Subject: RE: [rp-ml] Design for (Rapid) Manufacturing
I think we do agree, but there is the issue of terminology. 10 parts is
prototyping, not really manufacturing. Your case is one of the rare
Technically, one could claim that making 1 part is "manufacturing" but I
doubt that many MFG. Engineers invision themselves sitting and
contemplating how to build 1 part or 10 parts, or 100 parts for that
In many businesses a few hundred parts is "prototyping". When we look at
the RP industry, for the most part, it is not really even "prototyping"
as far as many industries are concerned. It is "model making". It still
has its place, and is a good tool, but it is not a "manufacturing
Prototype, and model are 2 entirely different things in many industries.
Look at the automotive industry for example. A model refers to clay or a
non functional mock up. A prototype is essentially a fully functional
vehicle with most parts made of the materials they will be made of in
production, but without the expense of production tooling. In aerospace,
a pilot can fly a prototype, but would not be able to fly a "model".
Lets face it, the whole concept of RM is a marketing scam. The fact that
there are anomalies whcih allow the technology to work are great, but do
not change the marketing hype and scam. Isnt it odd that the 2 biggest
player in the RP industry simply renamed their product line to catch the
wave of RM
--- On Mon, 3/9/09, Warner, Pat <> wrote:
> From: Warner, Pat <>
> Subject: RE: [rp-ml] Design for (Rapid) Manufacturing
> To: "" <>
> Cc: "Joe Kerer" <>
> Date: Monday, March 9, 2009, 7:19 PM
> Whilst I do see where you're coming from I can't say
> that I agree with you.
> RM is cost effective if the batch sizes are small enough. I
> build parts for use on our race cars using SLS, and as the
> batch size rarely exceeds 10, RM is a perfect fit for us.
> Tooling for such low volume would be ridiculously expensive
> and the lead times involved prohibitive. On the odd occasion
> where batch size has been up in the hundreds, I've still
> managed to manufacture parts in-house significantly cheaper
> than outsourcing to injection moulding.
> Aerospace companies are putting parts on military aircraft
> every day. I'm not sure that I could consider parts used
> on fighter aircraft as joke products. They obviously pass
> all the requirements for the product, and if it wasn't a
> cost effective way of producing the parts, I'm pretty
> sure they'd be doing it another way.
> Pat
> ________________________________
> From:
> [] On Behalf Of Joe Kerer
> Sent: 09 March 2009 22:11
> To:;
> Subject: Re: [rp-ml] Design for (Rapid) Manufacturing
> The best way to design for RM is to put something into your
> design that is going to make it extremely difficult to
> manufacture the products using more conventional means.
> Lets get real. A good designer designs for manufacturing,
> not RP. RM (RP) should only be used in rare occasions, as
> this is generally not a good manufacturing method.
> Look at many of the parts that the RP/RM manufacturers are
> showing as RM parts. They are mostly a joke, as they can be
> manufactured via other methods with better and cheaper
> results.
> Joe
> --- On Fri, 3/6/09, William Watson
> <> wrote:
> From: William Watson <>
> Subject: [rp-ml] Design for (Rapid) Manufacturing
> To:
> Date: Friday, March 6, 2009, 2:11 PM
> RP-ML:
> I was recently asked by our local IDSA chapter to write a
> short note on designing for rapid manufacturing processes.
> Although there is a lot of documentation on design
> constraints for other manufacturing processes (injection
> molding, sand casting, et al.), there is little help for
> designers in the additive fabrication space.
> I thought I would open this conversation up to the RP
> community with the hope of finding more help for the
> designers looking for better prototyping guidance as well as
> developing support for accepted DDM constraints.
> The article below was written for the industrial designer
> with little or no experience with rapid manufacturing.
> Obviously there is much more detail and depth than I
> covered. Hopefully this is a good place to start.
> The original can be found at:
> Here is the text:
> Design for (Rapid) Manufacturing
> Rapid Prototyping (RP), Additive Fabrication, Direct
> Digital Manufacturing, 3D Printing are just four of the many
> different ways to describe the twenty-two -year old industry
> based on technologies that build parts up, layer by layer.
> For the designers new to the technology, the promise is the
> same:
> Everything drawn in 3D CAD can be sent to a 3D Printer.
> If only product design was that easy. When your design
> process involves rapid prototyping, knowing about the
> materials and process can improve the outcome of your
> prototype.
> There are two equally false thoughts about prototyping
> materials:
> * RP parts are super fragile and super expensive -
> * RP materials come from "unobtainium" and are
> a perfect match for all designs and assemblies
> Although the first notion was probably true ten years ago,
> things have improved dramatically. Materials are stronger
> and better mimic the engineering polymers intended for
> production parts. Also, lower cost processes have reduced
> the overhead of many suppliers. For many processes, ordering
> a second piece only adds a fraction of the cost of the
> first. Since your marketing manager is going to keep the
> first model, might as well order two so you have one to use
> to communicate with engineering and manufacturing.
> Of course, the thought that RP machines can make everything
> is equally false. If your design includes sheet metal,
> expect to make some thickness changes before sending the STL
> file to the model shop. Many assemblies incorporate multiple
> materials to optimize the design for strength or weight. Do
> not expect one RP material to cover that very wide range of
> material properties.
> So, what is a designer to do? First, think about your
> design and product development goals. Then pick a
> prototyping strategy that best meets those goals.
> General design considerations:
> * When Outsourcing
> - Match your design with the right process
> * Small medical device? SLA
> * Color concept model? Z Corp
> * Over molded plastic/rubber? Objet
> - Be realistic about lead times
> * Start to finish with shipping time, outsourcing
> takes a week
> * Give your supplier a heads up when projects are on
> the way
> - Understand cost and time drivers
> * Material Volume
> * Build Envelope
> * Post Processing
> * In House 3D Printing
> - Know the strengths and limits of your process
> * Modify the design to make post processing easier
> * Know when to use assemblies, and when to manually
> assemble components
> * Use hollow or sparse builds to minimize costs
> - Understand support materials and post processing
> - Determine how to make the build more efficient. What
> drives time?
> Just like most other manufacturing processes, RP
> appreciates good design. Simple rules like constant or
> similar wall thicknesses help make growing and processing
> the parts much more efficient. Cantilevered beams often need
> support, and sheet metal features need to be thickened. Most
> importantly, using good design sense and understanding how
> your parts are made will help you make better designs in
> less time with less money
> Bill Watson, IDSA is the managing partner of Anvil
> Prototype & Design
> (<>),
> a Z Corporation partner and RP service bureau based in
> Charlotte, NC.
> Bill Watson
> Anvil Prototype & Design
> 4101 Stuart Andrew Blvd. Suite F
> Charlotte, NC 28217
> Voice: 704-527-8171
> -------------------------------------------
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Received on Thu Mar 12 19:18:38 2009

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