Overview Rapid Prototypes from different materials and processes

Rapid Prototyping and Prototype construction

Extremely agile and flexible intervention right from the start

Short time-to-market

Rapid prototyping allows design errors to be detected at an early stage. The development time and thus the time-to-market are shortened, the design and product quality is improved and your flexibility increases.

Experience in additive manufacturing

Take advantage of our experience and versatility in the various additive manufacturing processes! Depending on the application, surface finish, accuracy, quantity, or material, we determine the appropriate 3D printing process.
Whether illustrative models, prototypes for functional testing, pilot series or exclusive small series for field tests – we support you in the development process and manufacture prototypes according to 3D data sets: quickly, cost-effectively and in line with your requirements.

The findings from the tests and pilot series are integrated directly into the development and the subsequent tool making. This in turn guarantees a short time-to-market and massively reduces costs.

Our 3D Printing Rapid Prototyping Processes

SLA Process – High precision design and functional models

The additive manufacturing process SLA uses a liquid starting material (resin) which is solidified by irradiation with laser light. The prototypes have high accuracy, detail resolution, and a smooth surface. This makes them suitable for function and fit tests, and when design is the primary consideration. The process requires support structures and is more expensive and slower compared to the SLS process.

SLS Process – Complex and yet extremely fast

The SLS rapid prototyping process uses a powdered starting material (plastic, wax, sand) and builds the desired shape by fusion. In this process, the laser is activated at the desired location, thus melting the starting material and re-solidifying it by cooling. Since no support structures are required, very complex shapes can be printed. SLS is cost-effective and suitable for prototypes, functional tests, and pilot series. The material properties are strong and light, but the surface is rough and exact tolerances cannot be achieved.

FFF/FDM Process – For early functional testing

In the FFF/FDM 3D printing process, a solid filament (ABS, PLS, PETG, etc.) is used as the starting material, which is melted in the print head and then is built up in liquid form, layer by layer, to form the desired part in the printing chamber. The method is suitable for early functional tests that are to be produced cheaply and quickly. The surface is coarse (stair effect) and, unlike SLS, needs a support structure depending on the shape.

Vacuum casting plastic – For low cost pilot series

The housings made by the vacuum casting process are mechanically and visually very similar to the series parts from the injection moulding process and are thus suitable for functional testing, pilot productions, and visual testing. As a rule, this process is more efficient than 3D printing or CNC milling as from about 7 parts. Prototypes and series parts up to about 100 pieces can be produced cost-effectively before the silicone mould reaches the end of its life.

MLS Process – Metal prototypes with laser sintering technology

A thin layer of metal powder is selectively melted by a laser, building up the mould layer by layer. Through metal laser sintering, shapes can be achieved which, in contrast to milling from solid material, have more complex structures. The higher strength makes the 3D printing process suitable for prototypes with higher quality requirements or small series.

Milling and turning of aluminium solid material

As an alternative to metal laser sintering (MLS) in the case of die-cast aluminium housings, it is possible to mill the housing prototypes from solid aluminium for field tests or pilot series. For this purpose we have a large machine park. This process has the advantage over MLS of achieving high tolerances and fine surfaces. It is also faster and cheaper.  The material properties are close to the series product.

What customers say about us

Success Stories

Injection molded plastic part with electronics for an IoT button

IoT Button Injection Molding

Development and production of a housing for an IoT button using plastic injection moulding. From design, electronics assembly to delivery in the final packaging.

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Plastic injection molding post office order pen

Mail order pen

A LoRaWANⓇ-based smart button in plastic injection molding. Electronic developed by Miromico together with Swiss Post, with an optical identification code (OID codes).

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SETAGO pick to light system made of sensors in plastic injection molding and control system in aluminum extrusion process

Housing plastic injection

Sensor electronics and LED built into a compact injection-molded plastic housing with translucent plastic front. Control in an extruded aluminium profile.

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Send us a sketch or STEP file for a price enquiry.

Picture Mihajlo Maksimovic

Mihajlo Maksimovic

Project Manager

Tel. +41 52 742 75 13
Mail mihajlo.maksimovic@phoenix-mecano.ch