Rapid Prototyping for Outside the Box Web Design


Whenever we set out to create something, we tend to have a pretty specific idea of what that thing is going to look like, how it’s going to work and how it will be used. If you’re designing a chair for example, you can rely on some basic assumptions as to the general form it should take and how someone is going to sit in it. While this approach works well for established conventions like furniture, it doesn’t always work out as neatly in the digital realm. Intuitive as it may seem, rarely does our own, personal perspective do a very thorough job of considering how others will instinctively interact with such a product.

We are at top demands for SLA and SLS Rapid Prototyping Services in China,s serving globally

Anytime you design something for others to use, your decisions along the way are likely based off of certain assumptions you make about how your users will interact with it. These assumptions aren’t bad or wrong but they can be based on limited information and in some cases, personal bias. The natural tendency is to think about how a product will be used based primarily on the way you, yourself would use it. It’s not wrong, it’s just not necessarily right for everyone.

What’s missing here is the user. Who else can better speak to how they will interact than the very one doing the interacting? This idea isn’t new. We as designers have always sought feedback on how to improve and optimize what we create and often go to great lengths to do just that. It’s just that before, we weren’t seeking that feedback until after we’d finished building. Conceive, analyze, design, construct, test, maintain – this was the way things were done for a long, looooooong time.

Anyone can see that this approach is slow, frustrating, and expensive. Valuable time and money are spent in the laborious pursuit of incrementally improving upon completed products that are difficult to evolve. If the key to improving on the conventional wisdom is faster access to feedback, how then can one tap into those powerful insights earlier in the process? The answer is prototyping and it’s changing the way designers and developers alike approach building digital products.

The better way.

Prototyping allows new features and elements to be quickly validated or abandoned by creating simulated versions that can be put in front of users before they are completely developed. This iterative process ultimately shortens the feedback loop, allowing products to evolve faster and be more refined.

Prototyping allows you to test the assumptions you make about your users by putting low fidelity versions of your product in front of those very users to observe their behavior and elicit feedback. The prevailing wisdom is to do so early and often, building prototypes that merely resemble what you ultimately hope to release and discovering how users actually interact with it. What results is a continual loop of design, user testing and refining until something very near perfection is reached.

In rapid prototyping services this process is performed quickly with little concern for the level of detail involved. The faster an idea can be tested and either proven or disproven, the faster the ideal version will be revealed. Anything from simple HTML mock-ups to downright prehistoric paper models will suffice as long as it is testable. At 3epd.com, we use programs like InVision and UXPin to create fully interactive, high fidelity prototypes that give us early insight into how users are interacting with our sites and apps.

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Introduction to RTV Vacuum Casting


Quality Urethane / Vacuum / Silicon / RTV Casting requires two things:

  • RTV Silicone Tooling; and
  • Vacuum Casting Machines

Void free urethane parts are produced through vacuum casting which can be molded in texture and color. In the Room Temperature Vulcanized (RTV) process, the liquid silicone rubber is poured around the master pattern and the resulting mold is cured after being pulled from the master pattern. The urethane parts are then subsequently casted.

It is very different to rapid tooling or injection molding as no high pressure or temperature is involved. Batch prototypes for marketing research are thus produced in an economical way.

Room Temperature Vulcanizing (RTV Vacuum Casting)

The most common silicone compounds used for mold making are RTV or “Room Temperature Vulcanizing” silicones which are mixed in two parts (a base and a catalyst) to induce curing. The silicone mixture is poured or spread over a prepared specimen, with gauze or other reinforcing cloth added between pours for increase strength and tear resistance if desired.

After curing and removal, the mold may be replaced and covered with rigid jacket or mother mold (often composed of plaster, resin, or urethane foam) to preserve the original mold shape during storage and casting.

Normal curing time for most silicones is between 18 and 24 hours, but cure times may be greatly reduced by using fast-acting catalysts. When making molds in a laboratory, vacuum Dearing may be performed to remove trapped air bubbles; however, when working in the field or without Dearing equipment, alternative techniques (discussed below) may be used to minimize air bubbles.

The Process

Let us study the process in a diagrammatic fashion:

Silicone Mold-making Procedures

One can follow the steps to for Silicone Mold-Making:


  1. Clean and prepare specimen (apply consolidant, sealant, or release agent if necessary).
  2. Build retaining wall around specimen.
  3. Stir silicone base to loosen any settled material.
  4. Decant desired amount of silicone into mixing container.
  5. Mix in appropriate amount of catalyst.
  6. Apply to specimen.
  7. If reinforced mold is desired, gently press in gauze after pouring first layer.
  8. When cured, gently remove mold from specimen.
  9. If needed, create rigid backing or jacket over mold with plastic, urethane foam, or plaster.
  10. Remove backing material and mold. Store mold inside rigid backing.

Considerations in Vacuum Casting

  • No special sands or binders are required in this process.
  • Metal Casting Industry’s major problem of recovery and reconditioning isn’t observed in Vacuum Casting due to absence of binders in the mold.
  • Moisture related effects of metal casting is absent as the mold doesn’t contain water.
  • It is however a relatively slow process.


Advantages of RTV Vacuum Casting

RTV Vacuum casting has higher advantages over traditional methods. Out of the long list, few of the major ones are listed below:

  • Higher quantity of prototypes at relatively low cost can be produced with the process
  • It provides premium and precision plastic prototypes
  • It assists in engineering design prior hard tool
  • It allows easy modification and edition
  • Allows low cost tooling
  • Reduces time to market
  • It helps to evaluate potential markets
  • Assistance for in house testing
  • Provides aesthetic application where appearance holds criticality
  • Used in marketing shows and sales presentation


Applications of Vacuum Casting

Ideal applications of Vacuum Casting are as below:

  • Prosthetic and medical devices
  • Part integration and function testing
  • Automotive and aerospace parts
  • Production of plastic prototype parts for a range of industries, including consumer goods
  • Decorative objects, such as wall plaques or short run custom ornaments
  • Product marketing

Introduction to CNC Prototyping MAchining


What is CNC Machining?

Computer-numeric Controlled Machining is a subtractive manufacturing process where material is removed from the source to create finished product using variety of precision cutting tools. Depending on the Computer Aided Drawing (CAD), the tools are controlled with advanced software. This production manufacturing process benefits you prototype the exact drawings found in production with the freedom of editing and making changes.

The modern CNC Machining Services have programs generate a computer file containing commands to operate a machine by the use of a post processor and use it for production. Few installations contain number of machines designed specifically in a pattern and are controlled by an external robotic or manual operator to move the components from machine to machine.


NC machines built in early 1940s and 1950s have been rapidly developed and augmented to create modern machines to revolutionize the machining process.


Motion is controlled along two axes (X and Y) and the third axis comprises of a tool spindle. Direct-drive stepper motor drives position of the tool to inculcate highly precised movements. With lesser speed and small forces, Open-Loop controls work. Closed loop controls are rather used on commercial metal working machines.

CNC like systems are now used in welding, laser cutting, ultrasonic welding, friction stir welding, plasma cutting, spinning, bending, hole punching, gluing, pinning, sewing, fabric cutting, fiber and tape placement, picking and placing etc.

Benefits of CNC Prototype

  • Highly accurate and Repeatable
  • Veteran for different kinds of substrates
  • Quick removal of huge amount of materials
  • Lower tooling costs
  • Scalable volumes
  • Complex shapes
  • No Skill Requirement
  • Fast turnaround
  • Economical
  • Safer
  • Reduced Inventory

Applications of CNC Prototype

  • Mills
  • Lathes
  • Plasma Cutters
  • Electric Discharge Machining
    • Sinker EDM
    • Wire EDM
  • Water Jet Cutter
Mills – Different materials are cut using computer controls which translate programs having specific letters and numbers to move the work piece / spindle to various depths and location. While many use G-Codes, soma use proprietary codes created by respective manufacturers. CNC Mills help shoulder milling, face milling, drilling, tapping and turning.
Lathes – Lathe machines cut spindle (or work piece) while they are rotated. They use indexable tools and drills to make faster and accurate cuts. Complicated programs designed to make parts are fed into Lathe machines as the same are infeasible through manual lathes.Advanced lathes have more than 2 axes compared to their traditional counterparts.
Plasma Cutters – Plasma Cutting is done using Plasma Torch, they are used to cut steel and other metals. Gas is blown out of the nozzle at a high speed and an electric arc at the same time turns the gas to plasma which melts the material to be cut.
Electric Discharge Machining–It uses electric discharges to obtain the desired shape. It is thus also known as wire erosion, die sinking, burning, spark machining or spark eroding. They are of two types:
Wire EDM
Sinker EDM
Water Jet Cutters–It slices metals and other materials using a water jet (or a mixture of water with sand) at high pressure and velocity. It is often used during fabrication or manufacture of parts for machinery and other devices.

Other CNC Tools

  • Other tools having CNC variants are:
  • EDMs
  • Drills
  • Embroidery Machines
  • Wood Routers
  • Canned Cycles
  • Wire Bending Machines
  • Sheet metal works
  • Hot-wire foam cutters
  • Oxy-Fuel
  • Cylindrical grinders
  • Surface Grinders
  • Induction Hardening Machines
  • Knife Cutting
  • Submerged Welding

Why use CNC Prototype?

There are number of reasons why CNC prototype is used. I have listed the three major areas to think about:





When correctly programmed, they are 100% correct with the finished prouct.



•  Produces parts with                maximum accuracy

•   Good accuracy

•   High degree of quality







They are very easy to use once learnt how to use them.



•  Complex fixtures are not              required

•   Reduced storage      requirements

•   Lower tooling costs






CNC prototype reduces the time taken to produce the furniture items.



•  Improvements with minimum delay

•  Reduced waste

•  Reduced lead time




What Is It?

Commonly known as 3D printing, additive manufacturing appertains to processes involved in synthesizing a 3D object. It refers to building a three dimensional object by layering material to frame products. Once the 3D modelling software produces a file, the AM (Additive Manufacturing) machine parses the data from file to lay down consecutive beds of material for creating the 3D object.

Focused initially on prototyping and a method to envision models in reproduction, additive manufacturing has matured to canvas the arena of almost industries to create end-use products. The products can be made in an array of materials, viz., plastic to ceramic to metals whilst new materials are opened at a rapid pace.

General Principles

  • Modeling is done through Computer Aided Design packages through a photogrammetry software and plain digital camera. The printed models have reduced errors and can be edited prior printing.
  • Printing is preceded by error examination. The SLT (STereoLithography) files are examined for self-intersections, holes, manifold errors or noise shells are thus ‘repaired’. The SLT files are then ‘sliced’ into a series of layers and produce a G-Code file which contains instructions to 3D printer. These methods take advantage over traditional methods by reducing the entire effort to few hours from several days / weeks.
  • Finishing is required where the printer produced resolution might not be sufficient for many applications.

Processes and Techniques

CAD (Computer-Aided Design) files are used as drafts to build the product from scratch. The 3D printer then lays down thin micron measured layers out of the file blueprint to create the final object.

ISO/ASTM52900-15 delineates six leagues of AM processes: Stereolithography (SLA), Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Binder Jetting and Polyjet.


Stereolithography (SLA) engages ultraviolet lasers and resin (liquid ultraviolet curable photopolymer) to create layers of part at a time.


Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) involves extruding of little strings of material in melted format which form layers by hardening quickly.


Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) includes laser sinter material in powdered format which aims the laser at points automatically in space presented by a 3D model. The solid structure is thus created by consolidating the material together. It is benefitted use for low-volume production and rapid prototyping of component parts.


Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) has 3D objects in metal form. Rest is similar to Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). Also termed as Direct Metal Laser Melting (DMLM) is beneficial for detailed geometric designs.


Binder Jetting has liquid binding agent selectively deposited to bond the powdering material. Metals, sands and ceramics can be printed using this technique. It comes out to be the most cost effective method rolling out the use of heat for building.


Polyjet involves spraying photopolymer materials in very thin layers onto a tray to build the 3D object. Once the object is completed, water jetting and manual processes can be used to remove the support material supporting complicated designs.


Industrial Applications

Additive Manufacturing provides professionals and consumers liberty to create and customize products in current production technology.

  • Apparel: Fashion designers experiment with 3D shoes, bikinis and dresses. Nike for example is using the technique to produce the 2012 Vapor Laser Talon Football Shoe for American football player.
  • Vehicle: The One:1 announced by Koenigsegg, the supercar which utilizes 3D printed components. Spare part of planes are also printed by Air Force using the Additive Manufacturing process.

  • Construction:Until many years, hand drawn architecture were presented by architects usually investing a lot of time and produce a 2D view. The clients however required varied viewpoints to understand the final prototype. 3D printing techniques are now used to reduce the effort time by 50 to 80 percent and giving a better model.
  • Firearms: US-based Defense Distributed has designed a 3D printable AR-15 type rifle lower receiver having multiple receivers.
  • Medical: Patient specific implant are created using 3D printing which cover the biggest arena of future development. The technology can be utilized to create exact replica of human organs.

  • Computers and Robots: Open source robots are built using 3D techniques. Laptops and computers can be built using 3D technology.
  • Space:The Zero-G Printer, the first 3D printer designed to operate in zero gravity, was built under a joint partnership between NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and Made In Space, Inc.

Additive manufacturing is a means to create highly customized products, as well as produce large amounts of production parts. Products are brought to market in days rather than months and designers save money by using additive manufacturing instead of traditional manufacturing methods. In addition, the risk factor is much lower and those involved can receive near-immediate feedback because prototypes take less time to produce.

What is Aluminium Extrusion and its usage in industrial filed?


Aluminium Extrusion Process

The process of shaping material, such as aluminium, by forcing it to flow through a shaped opening in a die is known as extrusion. Extruded material comes out as an elongated piece with the same profile as the die opening.

After the desired shape and color are picked, the dough is inserted into the holding chamber and pressure is applied to it, which forces aluminium into a shape. In an extrusion press, pressure is applied to the billet by the ram where the dummy block is attached to the end of the ram stem. This principle applies to extrusions from aluminium billets but is more detailed and involves the usage of sophisticated technologies.

It is the press size that determines how large of an extrusion can be produced. The most significant factor that must be kept in mind in the extrusion process is the temperature as it gives aluminium its desired characteristics such as hardness and finish.

To sum up, Aluminium extrusion is a technique used to transform aluminium alloy into objects with a definitive cross-sectional profile for an array of uses. The extrusion process makes most of the unique combinations of aluminium’s physical characteristics. It is its malleability that allows it to be easily machined and cast. In spite of this, aluminium is one third the density and stiffness of steel so the resulting products offer strength and stability, that is, when alloyed with other metals.

Use of Aluminium Extrusion in Diverse Industries

  • Apart from ready work ability and substantial strength of aluminium, there are many other traits that offer benefits in various industries.
  • High conductivity of heat and electricity is a major benefit for aluminium extrusion products. The efficient transfer of heat makes aluminium a favourite for use in condenser tubes, radiators and air conditioners in the automobile industry, and in nuclear reactors.
  • The use of aluminium extrusion products is also there in the heating and cooling devices of mainframe computers, electronics, audio and video systems as well as in thawing units for the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Due to its low weight and high strength, aluminium extrusions are ideal for manufacturing aircrafts, cars, boats, subways, railway coaches, and trucks – this comprises, panels, cylinder heads, engine blocks, transmission houses, and chassis. It is because of the light yet strong characteristic that makes aluminium an optimal choice for manufacturing spacecraft bodies and parts.
  • As aluminium is corrosion resistant, it is used in mining to transport and dispose of mined materials and waste using tubing created with aluminium extrusion. That is because it is rust resistant and thus, suitable for military armaments.

Another property of aluminium is that it can be repeatedly recycled while maintaining its structural integrity. To add on, it is abundantly available in nature. Aluminium extrusion these days have become the most viable solution in order to meet the specific manufacturing needs of design flexibility, cost savings, and product performance.

In case you are looking for a company that can offer you the finest level of aluminium extrusion services, get in touch with 3epd today. Their expert staff ensures that your demands are met.

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