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Showing posts from 2010

Visit Materialise in Newcastle this weekend

If you are in Newcastle between the 15-19th December, be sure to drop in to Watt Space, the students gallery for the University of Newcastle.

Watt Space is a contemporary art space in the CBD area of Newcastle that exhibits the work of current students of the University of Newcastle. The role of the gallery is to provide students with diverse opportunities in exhibiting, curating and gallery management.

From Wednesday to Sunday, Industrial Design students will be exhibiting their work with the Official opening by JAMES O'LOUGHLIN from the ABC’s The New Inventors at 7pm on Friday 17th December.

To print your invite click here.

Smoothing station receives rave reviews

The new year has just commenced and we have already been receiving rave reviews about the improved FDM surface finish from our new Stratasys Smoothing Station.

Here are just a couple of responses:

"Just got the part. WOW. Very Impressive."
Oliver Kratzer
Managing Director Ideal Industrial
National President of the Design Institute of Australia

"The ABS parts from the finishing station have a smooth surface finish. We usually prepare and paint our prototypes but the surface finish is adequate for testing as is with minimal skin friction losses. The hydro-dynamic performance of the parts is great."
Michael Urch
Elemental Energy Technologies LTD

Try it yourself by visiting redeye australasia and placing and order over the internet or email us for a sample at

Merry Christmas

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a safe holiday season. Thank you for your support and we hope to see you on our website and blog in the New Year. So that you don't miss a story or update, be sure to follow our blog, follow us on twitter or like us on Facebook. We have a few surprises in store for 2011 but until then, Merry Christmas. RapidPro is closed between 23rd Dec 2010- 5th Jan 2011.

New Stratasys Smoothing Station arrives in Australia for ReadyPart Finish

RedEye Australasia is proud to announce the arrival of the new Stratasys Finishing Touch Smoothing Station for use on all ABS FDM parts.

Giving ABS parts a surface finish similar to injection-moulded parts, but at only a fraction of the cost, the ReadyPart surface finish makes FDM parts 15 times smoother, as well as watertight.

You can now opt for a ReadyPart finish in gloss or satin.


* The surface finish is ideal for painting and chroming.

* Smoothed parts work well as mold masters for silicone molding, sand casting, or
investment casting.

* Smoothed parts are watertight and can be employed for applications requiring moderate air or water pressure.

* Excellent representation of injection moulded parts for a fraction of the cost.

1. Before - no finishing 2. After - Satin Finish 3. After - Gloss Finish

Whether you're creating concept models, patterns or end use parts, now you can make them even smoother, with no delay in build …

Z-Corp 3D printing used to identify POW/MIA remains

A recent article in Mechanical Engineering explains how 3D printing is becoming an important tool in even more ways than one.

The Central Identification Library of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) in Pearl Harbour Hawaii are now using 3D printing and reverse engineering via scanning to identify forensic evidence of POW/MIA remains.

They are able to take a scan of an incomplete skull or skull that is unable to be removed from the site, and build an exact 3D replica or model from plaster. They are then able to use this model to match photographic records of soldiers Missing in Action.

The use of this technology is now giving closure to families who may otherwise have not none the fate of their loved ones.

Read the full article at Mechanical Engineering.

Congratulations Outerspace!

We would like to congratulate Outerspace for receiving the Best of Show award at the 2010 Australian Packaging awards.

The innovative Golden Circle Chilled Juice Bottle for Heinz Australia was awarded Best of Show as the “greatest overall achievement in its category”. The sculptural form was applauded for its excellence in functionality, aesthetics and innovation.

" By designing a handle on the front of the bottle, rather than the side as with traditional engineering-driven bottles, and by stylistically integrating the form, the team developed a solution that is symmetric, ergonomic, beautiful, and enticing. "

You may have already seen it on the supermarket shelves, if not, check it out.

We are very proud to work with Outerspace and their talented team.

To visit Outerspace click here.

RedEye Australasia Blog released

If you are already a fan of the RapidPro blog, be sure to check out the new RedEye Australasia blog at

With regular updates on RedEye, FDM, Direct Digital Manufacturing and Stratasys worldwide, you'll be able to keep abreast of what is happening internationally from a world leader in Rapid Prototyping Technology.

RedEye Australasia is Australia's largest FDM build centre - The Factory of the Future.
Click on the Picture above to see a video of this Full Sized Turbo Propellor being built using Stratasys (RedEye) FDM technology.

Prototyping Waterproof Panic Buttons

Panic buttons are not a new concept in Nursing Homes and Aged Care facilities; however, those that are permanent fixtures in Aged Care Facilities are generally only splashproof, not waterproof.

A builder working on a new Nursing Homes and Aged Care Facility contacted RapidPro after he was unable to find a waterproof panic button suitable for installation inside a shower cubicle.

The result is a mountable panic button surround that easily converts a pendant or watch style panic button into permanent wall mounted device, eliminating the need to wear a portable device whilst showering.
"The freedom to shower without the panic button pendant or watch would be liberating," said one regular wearer. "I'd like one fitted in my shower!"

FDM was selected as the most suitable rapid prototyping process for the project, with the surround built from ABS using RedEye Australasia's Build Centre.

"The new surface finish we can achieve with the new RedEye finishing technolog…

Rapid Prototyping in public

Russell Anderson, renown Brisbane artist and designer, has an enormous repertoire of work including public art, streetscapes and conceptual artworks.

RapidPro has worked with Russell on several projects, from making marquettes (miniatures of proposed works for grant applications, etc) to patterns for sand casting and vacuum casting, such as the yellow ends on the Sand Worm at Fitzgibbon Playground in Brisbane.
The pattern for the plaque which is mounted with this Public Artwork was made using Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) in the RedEye On Demand Build Centre in Australia. The largest FDM Build Centre in the Southern Hemisphere. The pattern was 550mm in diameter and was ordered, built and shipped to Russell within 48 hours.
RedEye Australasia undoubtedly offers fast and cost efficient rapid prototyping solution. For your instant online quote go to

Rapid Prototyping shares a flair for the dramatic

Rapid prototyping is often used to create the framework for artists to build upon. This ensures an exact replica of the digital design, as well as saving the artists a great deal of time on elements which are not actually viewed.

For Patricia Piccinini of Drome, we built several elements for her artwork entitled "Strength of One Arm".
The neck, elbow and knees were created using Fused Deposition Modelling. As these parts needed to be strong and lightweight, sparse filled ABS was chosen. This also helped to reduce costs.
The head, feet and hands were built using 3D printing on ZCorp creating a plaster/epoxy prototype which provided the ideal surface for hand finishing.

The finished piece stood approximately one meter tall.

Our role in a finished art work, such as this, is quite minor, especially when you consider the artists vision and expertise. We only build the file they provide, and ultimately they still use their skill to make their vision into a reality ... but it is wonder…

Rapid Prototyping comes to life

You may be familiar with the zoetrope used in the Spring Valley campaign using junk that comes together at night, or the soccer inspired zoetrope used by Sony Bravia featuring FIFA world player of the year Kaka - So what is a zoetrope?

It is a 19th century device used to create short films from a series of static images or sculptures. Essentially, it is a living wheel. The wheel spins in a circle and the result is a moving picture.

RapidPro recently worked with Megafun and Krome Studios to build the characters for their TY the Tasmanian TigerTM zoetrope.

From Concept to Model

3D CAD drawings of each of the characters were supplied to RapidPro; however, it was not as simple as just building the models. Several prototyping materials were tested to see which material would suit the sculptures requirements for colour and strength.

After several trials, plaster was selected and instead of printing each character in monocolour, they were printed in full technicolour. Some design modifications of…

Rapid Prototyping imitates real life

Creating a museum model of a lifelike crocodile involves a great deal of skill and the request from reknown exhibition preparator, taxidermist and model maker Ewin Wood, required a lot more ingenuity than most.

Ewin already had a skull of the Gharial crocodile; however, it was too large for the intended display case. He needed the skull to be scaled down and accurately reproduced so that they could replicate a body that would allow the entire specimen to be displayed in a three meter long glass case.

Exhibitions of this caliber are prized for their accuracy and authenticity, so it was paramount that every detail be exact, even in a smaller reproduction specimen.

RapidPro was employed to recreate the Gharial skull. For this to be as accurate as possible, RapidPro contacted ScanXpress who were able to create detailed CAD files by scanning the actual crocodile skull.

The CAD files were then passed on to RapidPro for scaling and building. Once the skull was resized to accommodate the display…

Rapid Prototyping comes to the movies

Rapid Prototyping has changed the way that movies are made. Objet has found a niche market, where big name movies including Iron Man 2, Avatar and Coraline have all required Objet Rapid Prototyping during the development phase of filming.

Legacy Effects is a special effects company employed to produce many of the pieces for Iron Man 2 and Avatar. It all starts with concept artists creating 3D images which are turned into CAD files which are then built using rapid protoyping techniques such as Objet printing. This technique is used to build models from scaled down maquettes, to full size parts.

The development process has been accelerated with the help of rapid prototyping techniques. First used in the production of Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World, 3D printing has since come into its own in the world of special effects.

For Iron Man 2 the team looked to Objet for its rapid production capabilities, taking on a range of printers, including an Eden printer as used at RapidPro, to make sure t…

The Art of Rapid Prototyping

Rapid Prototyping is a very popular technique with artists because it can provide:

1. An exact replica of digital 3D works for form study

2. A miniature (marquette) of sculptures to scale to seek grants for major works

3. A framework or basis for developing artwork on

Some of the pieces we have worked on have included museum specimens, artworks for parks and public open space, gallery works and even a fully operational zoetrope.

We will post further details of these projects in the coming weeks, but to show you what's coming up ...

New RapidNotes Newsletter - August 2010

To view or subscribe to RapidNotes, RapidPro's newsletter, please click on the subscribe link in the side bar.

This month's edition features a 20% Off special for Plaster Prototyping projects and a great story about getting the best prototypes for your needs and budget!

In Brief

Prototyping in plaster is the cheapest rapid prototyping technique available. It is cost effective, and an excellent way of presenting a model or mock-up to your clients.

Available in full colour, plaster prototypes are built using 3D layering. The plaster is then infiltrated and strengthened with polyurethane.

Popular with graphic artists, we have used this technique for architectural testing and display, gaming characters (right), artists marquettes and packaging redesigns.

Plaster is a versatile material which can be hand-finished in many different ways. It can be chromed to resemble metal, such as the tap and faucet (right), or sprayed with a high gloss to give the appearance of baked enamel, like a bus …

New Inventors using RapidPro Prototypes

It is always great to see projects you have worked on in the marketplace but when you see them with their designers on TV and are being showcased on the ABC's New Inventors - that's exhilarating.

RapidPro recently worked with Alex Gransbury from Dreamfarm on a few of the new products he is releasing. Several of which, were featured last week on the new inventors.

Alex is passionate about designing innovative kitchen products that will make their way from the second drawer to become items you simply cannot live without.

Dreamfarm are also environmentally conscientious and for every item they sell, they plant a tree. With 271,589 trees planted to date, they eliminate unnecessary packing with all their products and are proud to be "Green", just like us!


You can check out the segment by visiting:
or check out the full range of products by visiting:

We proudly produced prototypes for…

Prototyping to Plan: Producing a 3D map

Working with VicRoads to produce large scale models of proposed road systems highlighted the importance of hand finishing, an eye for detail and discussing the clients needs and wants with the team at RapidPro.

THE PROTOTYPE/PROJECT: VicRoads recently requested several 3D models of a proposed modification to the Western Highway between Ballarat and Burrumbeet in Victoria.

VicRoads requested 4 models to be built showcasing the 4 proposals for the new road system.

While Vic Roads originally requested the entire project to built in plaster/epoxy, the team at RapidPro suggested combining several techniques to produce the same result, but at a fraction of the price.

THE RESULT: These Proposals were subsequntly printed using several Rapid Prototyping techniques including Objet printing. The models were then hand finished to highlight specific areas and items of importance.

The finished proposals measured almost 900 x 400 mm and were built in over 50 pieces including the individual trees, road si…

Packaging Power Article in Curve

The new issue of Curve is available now and there is a really interesting story on the importance of product packaging.

Quote from Curve:
Most people don't realise that when they buy packaged goods that there is a huge amount of work behind it, from designers to packaging producers. But not Brigitte and Jean Jacques Evrard, the high-profile, multi-award-winning founders of the internationally renowned packaging awards program – the Pentawards. Brigitte Evrard spoke to Curve about the importance of packaging design as a communication tool for global business.

To read more, subscribe to curve at

RapidPro is active in the creation of new packaging prototypes for designers, using many different prototyping processes depending on the desired result. From colour 3D printing in plaster/epoxy to fused deposition modelling, objet printing, silicon tooling and short run injection or blow moulded samples, RapidPro is able to tailor a prototyping proces…

A Climate for Change - are you aware of the latest trends in business response to sustainability expectations?

A Climate for Change - are you aware of the latest trends in business response to sustainability expectations?

RapidPro is!

As you may be aware - We have been an environmentally responsible business with Carbon Neutral status for over one year, and we are continually looking at minimising our environmental footprint.

This article mentions the importance of sustainability in the development of new products - The latest McKinsey Global Survey (Feb. 2010) found that "more than 50 percent of executives consider sustainability-the management of environmental, social, and governance issues-"very" or "extremely" important in a wide range of areas, including new-product development, reputation building, and overall corporate strategy".

Prototyping, packaging and the development of new products is our core business, and we can proudly stand tall among our competitors knowing that we are not only working hard for our customers, but also for the environment!

RapidPro has been "Green" for 1 year!

RapidPro has always been an environmentally friendly business, but with concerns about global warming, the escalation of greenhouse gas emissions as well as our massive water shortages, we decided that it was time to take a fresh approach to our entire operation.

RapidPro is proud to celebrate our one year anniversary as a Carbon Neutral business. Aside from tree planting to offset our emmissions, we have also employed new water saving technologies and are recycling even more from the prototyping technologies used in-house.


Objet prototyping uses high pressure water to remove support material required during the building of a prototype. Most commercial 'wash stations' are connected to mains water and the water that is used is simply washed away.
Instead, RapidPro has engineered its own wash station which enables the recycling of this water, using 90% less water than conventional parts baths or wash stations. This is a massive saving for the enviro…

Direct Digital Manufacturing: the Green alternative

Your Green Alternative to Traditional Manufacturing Methods

Designing for sustainability is a hot topic in today’s engineering world. Design software companies are adding tools to help engineers compare manufacturing methods and materials so they can evaluate their design's carbon footprint, executives are insisting that their operations teams adopt just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing techniques and customers are demanding new products that are eco-friendly.

RedEye On Demand's commitment reaches beyond supplying environmentally friendly parts. It extends throughout our offices, manufacturing facilities and distribution systems.

Direct Digital Manufacturing "Green" Attributes

• JIT Manufacturing

• Less Hazardous Materials Used

• Low Material Waste

Just-In-Time (JIT) Manufacturing
DDM is a manufacturing process which creates physical parts directly from 3D CAD files using additive fabrication technology. All DDM parts are intended to be used as the final product itself with min…

Rapid Prototyping with FDM saves months on production

Nestlé Purina PetCare Company decreased Build Time by 75 Percent with FDM® Technology

Plastic litter jugs are not glamorous products, but to pet owners they are expected to be ergonomic while holding a considerable load. The Nestlé Purina PetCare Company recently redesigned its cat litter jugs using Stratasys Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM®) technology to meet critical deadlines while retaining product quality.

The Nestlé Purina PetCare Company ( was formed in 2001 to create food, treats and litter products for dogs and cats. In April 2009, the company embarked on a redesign of its cat litter jugs.

Preparing for Change

“This is the biggest cat litter packaging change attempted in years, said Stephen Wurth, designer. “In the past, we’ve changed the materials used to make the product lighter or in ways to save costs, but this is the first big change in consumer-driven design.”

“We wanted to improve our existing jug to create a better experience for our customers,” said Wurth. Beca…

Rapid Prototyping revolutionizes manufacturing

RedEye on demand, leaders in Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), are revolutionizing manufacturing using FDM to eliminate the need for costly tooling.
Innovation No 1: Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM)
DDM has now become a reality thanks to FDM technology. Parts are built directly from CAD (STL) files in the thermoplastic materials used in manufacturing such as PC and ABS. With RedEye’s FDM technique, it’s easy to produce identical parts in production quantities that you require, with no minimum order requirements. And if a small change is required, it’s as easy as loading a new CAD file and rebuilding the part to the new specs. No wasted tools and shorter lead times.
Innovation No 2: Injection Moulding
Traditional methods of injection moulding were slow (taking up to 6 weeks to get the mould) and costly. Now with RedEye on demand’s Injection Moulds, you can get a mould within days, and for a fraction of the cost. Capable of producing hundreds of shots, RedEye FDM moulds are accurate, af…