LET’S MAKE YOUR IDEA REAL
At Lime Design, we take great pride in putting out the best prototypes in South Florida, which involves specialized manufacturing techniques for making high-quality physical models of a 3D design idea. Prototypes are useful for design improvement, as stepping stones to full production or for engineering testing. A stellar prototype is also beyond helpful when it comes to securing investors, as its truly leagues above showing them a simple 3D model or picture of what you have in mind. You can show them it actually works.
They are meant to be quick and economical, without the need for the investment in hard tooling. Many of our clients need to produce a physical part quickly in order to validate a design or to capture a fleeting sales opportunity. For that very reason, we range in what you want to focus on for your prototype; draft or polished. A draft version would be faster but not quite as beautiful or refined; used primarily to test your design for any issues or improvements. Alternatively, if your product is ready to go, you can instead opt for the final prototype, where the goal is to have a fully functional prototype with all the looks to match.
Our prototypes can be made with an array or materials as well to suit your design’s needs. For larger parts we go with FDM printing, which uses filament plastics to create your prototype with the plastics typically being PLA, ABS, or PETG – all of which depend on the needs of your prototype and whether or not it is a final draft. The alternative is SLA printing, for prototypes with smaller parts with a smooth output, such as toys.
Advantages of Making A Prototype
How can making a prototype help you and your business? Here are just some of the ways:
- Show your customers and investors a physical model of your product
- Demonstrate the appearance, dimensions and features of your product
- Test the market with your product before production
- Save time and money by identifying and reducing design flaws
- Improve and streamline the production process
- Create multiple versions with different colors, surface textures and finishing processes
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is a 3D printing technology that produces durable parts for prototyping. SLS is igood for cost-effective prototyping ,complex geometry, durable parts, and moderate sized production runs.
Great For: affordable prototypes, durable parts, moderate volume production
SLA is a precise 3D printing technology used for creating prototypes, molds, and production parts with resin. It is amongst the finest options for products requiring accurate form, fit, or miniscule details.
Great For: precise prototypes, display pieces, silicone molds, jigs, fixtures
Polyjet is a versatile 3D printing means that mildly accurately creates rubber-like prototypes. It can print in a variety of materials on the same part to emulate overmolding.
Great For: rubber-like prototypes, overmolding prototypes
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
FDM is a 3D printing process where parts are made layer by layer with extruded plastic filament. FDM uses various materials such as PLA, ABS, Polycarbonate, PETG, Ultem, and more. It is ideal for functional prototypes where the goal is either function or durability.
Great For: functional prototypes, jigs and fixtures, smaller production run
Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
DMLS is a metal 3D printing technology that utilizes a laser to weld powdered metal together, in order to create durable parts that are as strong as machined models would be. With real-world materials like stainless steel and aluminum, engineers can acquire end-use parts that can handle demanding needs. DMLS is best for parts that are too difficult or costly to machine, or FDM parts wouldn’t be unsuccessful.
Great For: low volume production of complex metal parts
CNC Machining (Milling and Turning)
CNC Milling and turning are subtractive prototyping and production method that can create a myriad of part sizes and materials. CNC machining is best for basic models with high tolerances, or if the parts should require specialty material.
Great For: fit & form prototypes and functional prototypes
Urethane Casting is a manufacturing technology in which we make a silicone mold from a 3D printed original. The method can create a small run of the parts.
Great For: rubber-like prototypes and display models
Rapid Injection Molding
Rapid injection molding is an end-use manufacturing method designed for producing batches of plastic parts affordably, at Lime Design we can pass on the mold and provide an excellent, finished prototype that can be displayed as the completed product.
Great For: medium to high volume production
- Able to work with metal, wood, and acryllic
- Precision cutting on a large scale
- Ideal for furniture design and decorative pieces
- 3D CNC services
PLASTIC 3D PRINTING
- Variety of plastics such as PLA and ABS
- Ideal for prototyping to test
- Fast and usually a cost effective option
SHEET METAL FABRICATION
- Cutting & bending
- Anondizing & powder coat finish
- Utilizing urethane for accurate casting
- Molds can be made on site
RAPID INJECTION MOLDING
- Precise mold fills with injections
- Can inject a variety of materials
COMPOSITE 3D PRINTING
Continuous fiber reinforcement
High quality jigs and fixtures
Reinforced plastic parts – stronger than aluminum