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The Prototyping Blog

the prototyping blog

A History of The Engineering Resource Center

Posted by Molly Skiba on Jul 18, 2019

Where there's a problem, great engineers won't stop at anything to find a solution. And that's exactly why the Engineering Resource Center exists.

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The Engineering Resource Center was originally developed in 2013 as a prototyping division of a larger plastic injection molding company. Customers had been venting their frustrations about the low quality prototypes they were receiving from every prototyping service they worked with. They wanted parts made to their exact design specifications so they could test them properly, but couldn’t justify the expense of production tooling for parts that weren’t quite ready for mass production. 

Most prototyping companies use aluminum tooling make plastic prototypes as fast and cheap as possible. The catch is that:

a) They usually require you to limit your design features.

b) The inconsistent quality can’t be trusted in the testing phase.

c) You can’t use abrasive filled materials. 

We knew there had to be better way to make inexpensive injection molded prototypes without compromising the product design. Inconsistent quality, limited material choices, and leaving out complex design features were not an option for parts that eventually needed to be used for testing. We wanted to find a way to provide steel production-style prototype tooling for a fraction of the price. So when our engineers realized that 95% of all parts they received needed the same basic requirements for tooling, our modular tooling system was born. 

MTS-2Our team took the idea and ran with it. We invested in plenty of steel, brainpower and labor to develop a variety of steel mold bases with production tooling features that could accommodate inserts for parts of different sizes and complexities. In the end, it paid off. In 2015, the Engineering Resource Center had successfully gained enough traction to become a standalone company. Since then, we've expanded our manufacturing offerings from prototypes to low volume production and production tooling. 

If you're in need of high quality plastic prototypes without the high tooling investment, that's exactly what we're here for.