Custom injection molder Kaso Plastics Inc. has brought 3-D printing for rapid prototyping in house.
The Vancouver, Wash., firm invested about $100,000 in the program, including a Fortus 250 three-dimensional 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,” Darin King, Kaso vice president and general manager, said in a news release. “This is why we continue to invest in resources and equipment like 3-D printing.”
The 3-D 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 3-D system as a cost-effective way of doing short runs of finished product.
Prior to this year, Kaso outsourced prototype work for machining, 3-D printing and forming, King said in an email correspondence.
Kaso's main markets include medical, automotive, sports equipment, metal-to-plastic conversion, consumer electronics and military. It runs 29 injection presses with clamping forces from 50-610 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.