VANCOUVER, WASH. (May 16, 3:35 p.m. ET) — Custom injection molder Kaso Plastics Inc. has brought 3D printing for rapid prototyping in house.
The Vancouver, Wash., firm invested about $100,000 in the program, including a Fortus 250 3D printer production system from Stratasys Inc. of Eden Prairie, Minn.
“Our customers look to us to provide manufacturing excellence in all areas, from prototyping and design support to our value added secondary services,” stated Kaso vice president and general manager Darin King in a news release. “This is why we continue to invest in resources and equipment like 3D printing.”
The 3D printing system allows rapid production of ABS prototypes. It will help Kaso staff identify any possible design flaws early in the production process, saving time and money for the customer.
Kaso claims it will be able to make ABS prototype parts nearly as strong as an injection molded part, in some cases with 80 percent of the strength of conventional injected parts. Eventually the privately held firm could use the 3D system as a cost-effective way of doing short runs of finished product.
Prior to this year, Kaso outsourced prototype work for machining, 3D printing and forming, King said in an e-mail correspondence.
Kaso's main markets include medical, automotive, sports equipment, metal to plastic conversion, consumer electronics and military. It runs 29 injection presses with clamps from 50 to 610 tons in a 50,000-square-foot facility. King said the 90-employee company has annual sales of about $15 million. The firm was founded in 1962. Its secondary services include pad printing and decorating, assembly, EMI shielding, ultrasonic welding and insertion, and machining. On the molding side it offers gas assist, overmolding, in-mold decorating and structural foam molding.