RISE Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing

The company I chose was RISE Rapid Prototyoing & Manufacturing.
http://riserp.com/default.aspx
After countless attempts to work out a pipeline with other companies, RISE was the only one willing to work out how to deal with my 3D files.
Most of the time, product designers use solid modeling programs (like Solidworks, AUTOCAD) to create CAD files which work with 3D printing technology.
Before I found RISE I was concerned that I would have to learn to use a CAD system to rebuild my designs from ground up.
However, I was relieved when Martin Sukadi told me they could use one of the file formats that 3D Studio exports….STL (stereolithography).
Although 3D Studio is a surface modeler, they were able to use the data as is.

In beginning I wanted to know how much it would cost to make my case in whatever materials were available to me, especially stainless steel.

Here is one of the first emails Martin sent me to educate me on the benefits of working with a company like RISE…
“Jim,
As you already found out, once you go into making a real mold (especially with big companies out there), things indeed get pretty expensive. You definitely don’t want to go there unless you have confirmed you have a good, working design. One single mistake would cost thousands of dollar. That’s why we’re here–to help people bring their products faster and cheaper. We have helped many inventors, within their given budget, turned their idea into real tangible, marketable products.

Anyway, if you really want to move forward, here’re the steps I would suggest:
  1. I would highly suggest going with plastic prototypes first since they are cheaper and they have faster turn-around time (about a week). You can skip this step and go directly to metal prototypes if you want but if you want to make changes, it’s gonna cost more since metal prototypes are more expensive.
  2. Once we have the plastic ones ready and tested, we move forward with metal prototypes. We can do steel, aluminum, bronze, zinc, etc (pretty much any kind of metals out there). I suppose for your application aluminum or stainless steel would work best. Once you’re getting into the “metal realm” things get a bit pricey but they definitely cost a lot less than making a metal mold just to see how the actual product looks like. On top of that, there’s no minimum quantity; you can do 1 or 10 prototypes, the decision is yours.
By the end of all those steps, you would’ve had your metal prototypes, very similar to or exactly the same as the end product, by only spending, say, around $2.5K or so (I’ve attached a sample quote for you), definitely a lot less than making a metal mold! From there if you want to make a metal mold, we can help you with that as well and I guarantee you: nobody can beat our price. We can do the all these for a lot less since we have really low overhead cost.
If you can share with me how much your budget you are willing to spend to develop your product, I can help you prepare a plan that can fit into your budget.
Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. 
PS: If you want to see a sample ABS plastic, you can stop by my workshop or I can just mail it to you, either or is fine.”

I am and was grateful to Martin for taking the time to educate me on the process.
I needed someone like him to hold my hand and walk me through it.
I also needed to feel like I was getting the best price available.

In the end, I decided for the first one to go with black, ABS plastic.
It cost $150.


Top and bottom of the plastic case (already fitted with spring bars).

You can see the part has several thin, bumpy lines across the surface.
This is a by product of the printing technology.
Martin mentioned that he used a lower cost machine to produce this part which is why the lines are more prominent.
He said, in the future when the design is more refined, I could have them use a higher end machine which would produce smoother results (and would also cost me more).
Polishing could also help remove the lines…although I couldn’t imagine how to do this without completely destroying it.

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