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The Prototyping Blog

the prototyping blog

Why Plastic Prototypes Are An Important Part Of Your World

Posted by Molly Skiba on Jan 8, 2019

Plastic prototypes may not sound exciting but they often don't get the credit they deserve for the important part they play in our world. Take a moment to look around. Almost every plastic product you use started as a prototype; the components of the keyboard you’re typing on, the lid on your coffee thermos, the shell of your computer mouse, even things you don’t see, like a valve inside your sink. 

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Topics: Plastic Prototype, Plastic Part Mold, Molded Plastic Prototype, Plastic Prototyping, Prototype Launch

It's All About The Mojo

Posted by Molly Skiba on Oct 5, 2018

If you attended any of the events  The ERC has exhibited at in the past year, you're probably familiar with our interesting Mojo boxes. While the Mojo box may look like it's just a plastic "box-inside-a-box-inside-a-box", there's a lot more to it than meets the eye. 
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Topics: pilot prototyping, rapid prototype, Marketing, 3D Printing, Molded Plastic Prototype, Plastic Prototyping, Prototype Launch, prototype tools, prototyping company,, career fair

Benefits of Manufacturing Prototypes, Tooling & Production Parts Under One Roof

Posted by Austen Ballmann on Jul 23, 2018

Austen Bio Picture

Why have your prototype developed at one shop, tool built at another, and run production at another when you can keep it all under one roof? 

Working with an experienced one-stop shop, like The ERC, can speed up the entire product development process, eliminating errors and resulting in a lower overall project cost. We can not only develop and manufacture your prototype, but can also mold your low quantity production parts and build your production tool when your quantities go up. 

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Topics: Plastics Manufacturing, Plastic Prototyping, Injection molding, Modular Tooling System, bringing a product to market

5 Ways A Functional Plastic Prototype Can Help Your Product Launch

Posted by Molly Skiba on Apr 23, 2018

Injection mold tooling is notoriously expensive. This can leave you wondering, do you really need a functional prototype? Will a CAD model or 3D printed part suffice?

Injection molded prototypes are developed to prove that a design will work. They offer the advantage of testing the molding process with the production material, so any process or material design flaws are discovered early on. For this reason, injection molded prototypes can actually end up saving you money in manufacturing. Here are 5 ways your product launch will benefit from developing a production-quality prototype.

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Topics: Plastic Prototyping, prototype, engineering resource center, material selection, product launch, product development, prototype quote

Sometimes It Takes Two

Posted by Ryan Duffey on Jul 24, 2017

At the Engineering Resource Center, one of the things we pride ourselves on is upfront design support. Often times, we will come across designs that are nearly impossible to produce as a single component, or that would not be sustainable in a production environment. Our goal is to work with the customer and provide design to support that both satisfies the part requirements and can be repeated in a production manufacturing setting.

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Topics: Prototype Design Changes, Plastic Prototype, Plastic Prototyping, Injection molding, product development

Top 5 Online Resources To Guide You Through Your Next Prototype Build

Posted by Molly Skiba on Apr 13, 2017

A product launch can be a stressful process for an engineer...especially during the prototype phase. Maybe you tried submitting a design to an online prototyping service and kept getting error messages, but no guidance. Or maybe you recieved your prototype but your parts turned out low quality and inconsistent. 

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Topics: prototype design, Prototyping Trends, Plastic Part Mold, Molded Plastic Prototype, Plastic Prototyping, Design Variables, Speed to market, Multiple Material, Bridge-Tooling, customer service, metal to plastic conversion, metal-to-plastic, engineering resources

Optimize Your Prototype Build With Our Modular Tooling System

Posted by Molly Skiba on Mar 24, 2017

When The ERC was formed, our engineers realized 95% of all parts they received needed the same basic requirements for tooling. From those findings, the idea of a modular tooling system was born. We have designed several proprietary mold bases that now allow our toolmakers to build inexpensive mold inserts for most of the parts that come across their desks. 

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Topics: Plastic Prototype, Plastics Manufacturing, Plastic Part Mold, Molded Plastic Prototype, Plastic Prototyping, Injection molding, Bridge-Tooling, Modular Tooling System

Struggling To Afford Injection Mold Tooling For Low Volume Projects?

Posted by Ryan Duffey on Mar 17, 2017

One of the most challenging aspects of planning for low volume production projects is the initial tooling cost. Building dedicated production tools for components that are expected to run limited volumes can be expensive. In some cases, the high cost of production tooling can terminate a project that could have had a lot of potential.           

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Topics: Plastics Manufacturing, Molded Plastic Prototype, Plastic Prototyping, Injection molding, Engineering Support, Low Volume Production, Low Volume Manufacturing

Metal To Plastic Conversions: Cut Costs, Not Quality

Posted by Molly Skiba on Mar 9, 2017

At the Engineering Resource Center, we are often called upon to help customers convert parts from machined, forged, or cast metal to highly engineered plastic. Converting parts from metal to plastic can be a great way for a manufacturer to cut costs, have more product design freedom, and speed up production. However, the newly designed and engineered plastic product must first pass the testing required to make the switch. Here's what you shouldn't compromise on when trying to keep costs low:

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Topics: Prototype Design Changes, Plastic Prototype, Plastics Manufacturing, Plastic Prototyping, Multiple Material, cost of risk, Engineering Support, metal to plastic conversion, metal-to-plastic

The REAL Cost Of Buying Cheap Prototypes

Posted by Matt Sweeney on Feb 10, 2017

As an engineer, your job is inherent with risks every day. Your company relies on you to launch new project, push the technology envelope, take ideas and turn them into something usable and most of all, profitable. By now, you're pretty good at mitigating risks that will delay your project. After all, math makes sense to you: low risk = successful project, right? But during your prototype launch, some risks are out of your control and in the hands of your chosen prototype house. 

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Topics: prototype design, Plastic Prototype, Plastic Prototyping, Speed to market, purchasing, cost of risk, Risk, Engineering Support, Prototype Launch, risk management