Tuesday, 22 February 2011

RapidPro launches New Website

We are pleased to announce that RapidPro has a new look website!

It is social media savy, packed full of rapid prototyping information and still provides you with all the links you need to contact us for your next prototyping job.

Check it out at RapidPro.

If you have a story you would like to include on our blog or information you would like to share, please send content and pictures through to us. If suitable, we will be happy to link your page or showcase your products.

Email story ideas here.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Prototyping: From Idea to Completion

Designers, artists and engineers come to RapidPro with a concept or an idea. Sometimes it is a sketch, but most often it is a CAD file.

From the CAD file a rapid prototype is built (sometimes referred to as printed).

Rapid prototypes can be built using many different prototyping processes and materials. The material and process chosen is usually based on:
1. The requirements of the prototype
2. It's purpose
3. The timeframe
4. The budget

Plaster prototypes such as this can be chromed to look like metal if required. They are much cheaper than metal prototypes and much quicker to build. However, they are not as strong and cannot be used for strength testing, only form studies.

The rapid prototype is then made to the specifications outlined by the designer.

It can then be finished to look like the final product or left in it's raw state depending on the clients requirements.

The designer then receives approval for the project, wins the tender or the contract and proceeds with manufacturing or building of the final project.

Take the guesswork out of your next project with a Rapid Prototype. They are inexpensive and may just turn your idea into a reality.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Pixar uses 3D Printing in Toy Story 3

A recent article in Time Compression highlighted how Pixar used ZCorp 3D full colour printing to capture some of their characters for the recent Toy Story 3 movie.

A detailed rapid protoyping technique producing full colour models from a plaster/epoxy composite, because the model is printed in colour, there is no detialed painting or finishing required. Just look at the colour and surface texture of Lotso (Pictured Right).

A popular rapid prototyping technique offered by RapidPro, ZCorp 3D printing is cost effective, quick and ideal for form studies, models, figurines and mass models.

For more information on 3D printing, visit our website.

To read the article by Time Compression click here.

Small Scale Model to Large Public Open Space Artwork

Working with artists is always a lot of fun, especially when their projects are converted from a small model into a large scale artwork for Public Open Space. We recently worked with renowned Queensland artist and designer Russell Anderson (www.russellanderson.com.au) on his most recent piece for the Springfield Lakes Corporation. Read all about it below, and be sure to click on the link to watch the video.

The NanO Harvester

Russell Anderson is a very talented artist and designer currently located in Brisbane. His most recent project is a spectacular water feature installed at Springfield Lakes called the NanO Harvester.

How does it work? The green cup or bucket holds around half a tonne of water, which moves and spills water several times a minute from the bucket onto the umbrella type wings below. The water then cascades down to the ground where it is recycled and reused.

The main feature of a new water park at Springfield Lakes, it is a dramatic, interactive artwork which is an eye-catching focal point, even when not in use.

A place to play and an iconic landmark for the Springfield Lakes area, the NanO Harvester is not just art, it is an outstanding engineering achievement.

To watch the NanO Harvester in action, click this link: NanO Harvester

The Rapid Prototyping RapidPro's role in this project evolved as the artwork progressed. Originally we were engaged to build a small scale replica in plaster/epoxy which helped Russell to win the contract. This prototyping process was chosen as it is quick, inexpensive, ideal for form studies and could be easily painted and finished to Russell's specifications.

When the final design was determined, RapidPro prototyped several parts using RedEye Australasia's FDM build centre to build parts from ABS for use as foundry patterns. FDM is a layer by layer additive manufacturing technique ideal for functional components and accurate patterns in the thermoplastic materials used in manufacturing such as ABS and PC.

RapidPro also machined many of the finished metal parts for the final sculpture using CNC prototyping.

A wonderful addition to the Springfield Lakes area, we look forward to visiting it ourselves one day soon.

Russell has many more projects in the pipeline, and we will be sure to keep you up to date with how Russell's works are progressing and where you can see them for yourself.