Disabled veteran-owned small business transforms workflow with 3D Systems’ Figure 4 Standalone 3D printer, reducing time-to-print by nearly 90%
3D Systems (NYSE: DDD), the originator of 3D printing, announced that Rapid Application Group (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma), a disabled veteran-owned additive manufacturing firm, has doubled its production capacity and throughput with 3D Systems’ Figure 4 Standalone 3D printer. This industry-leading plastic 3D printer is helping Rapid Application Group support mission critical, time-sensitive operations for customers in the oil and gas, aerospace and defense, motor sports, and healthcare sectors.
Rapid Application Group opened its doors nearly two years ago – growing 300% in the last 12 months of operation. Since its inception, the company has built its capabilities by adding two 3D Systems sPro 60 HD-HS SLS printers, and partnering with 3D Systems’ On Demand to provide stereolithography (SLA), Direct Metal Printing (DMP) and MultiJet printing (MJP) services. Rapid Application Group is also partnering with 3D Systems’ team to provide investment casting patterns using the new ProJet® MJP 2500 IC, which they intend to bring in-house next year. After incorporating the Figure 4 Standalone printer into its workflow this past August, Rapid Application Group immediately doubled its capacity while reducing its time-to-print process by nearly 90% – from seven hours to 45 minutes or less.
“The Figure 4 Standalone – including 3D Sprint® – truly delivers as promised with outstanding ease-of-use, six sigma repeatability of production parts, and incredible speed,” commented Terry Hill, owner and CEO, Rapid Application Group. “The robust materials and injection-molding-quality surface finish, combined with very quick print times, have helped us double our capacity and throughput. We have already achieved full ROI with this one, remarkable 3D printer.”
In addition to delivering best-in-class additive manufacturing solutions to support mission critical and time-sensitive operations, 3D Systems’ technologies have afforded Rapid Application Group the opportunity to give back to the community. Owner Terry Hill runs a series of additive manufacturing courses for high school students, helping them learn the fundamentals of workflows supporting the end-to-end production of 3D-printed parts. He’s also helping disabled veterans through a new ‘Veterans to Additive’ program – a standardized certification course that trains veterans on the additive manufacturing process. Terry is not only utilizing 3D printing to positively impact disabled veterans, he is also conducting prosthetics research and prototyping to support disabled service animals.
Figure 4 Platform Delivers Unprecedented Speed and Scalability
3D Systems’ Figure 4 platform is the industry’s first modular, scalable, fully-integrated direct 3D production platform that enables customers to grow their business by transforming the way they design and manufacture parts. The Figure 4 platform incorporates high speed digital molding, a process that speeds and simplifies the production of plastic parts — enabling manufacturers to match the accuracy, reliability, repeatability and uptime of traditional injection molding. These capabilities are enhanced through the incorporation of 3D Sprint, which is designed to help the user prepare and optimize CAD data and then manage the additive manufacturing process – eliminating the need for costly third-party options.
“3D Systems partners with our customers, delivering 3D printing solutions to not only transform their manufacturing environment, but helping them grow their business and maintain competitive advantage,” said Phil Schultz, senior vice president, general manager, on demand and plastics, 3D Systems. “No matter the size and scope of a business, additive manufacturing can have an everlasting, positive impact on its end-users in more ways than one. It’s a true honor to see our solutions play a multipurpose role at Rapid Application Group.”
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