Custom injection molder Eck Plastic Art is stepping up its product development marketing efforts under new ownership.
The Binghamton, N.Y., firm is promoting its rapid prototyping skills, according to Brett Pennefeather, new co-owner and president.
"We have had 3D printing capability for a while but have not been utilizing it much," Pennefeather said in a phone interview. "We have done research to make plastic molds and we're beginning to see a lot of success in it."
Eck Plastic is making molds by 3D printing an ABS-like material to allow part runs of up to 500 units for the prototyping and pre-production stages, Pennefeather explained. It is using a late model Stratasys Connex 350 3D printer to make the ABS molds which are capable of churning out parts in the final production plastic.
Pennefeather said automotive is the company's major single market, for which it molds knobs, pulleys and other small parts in its four injection presses with clamps of 60 to 120 tons. The rest of its client base is diverse.
Eck Plastic is partly funding an analysis of its manufacturing methods that could save it up to 30 percent of the time to get a project from concept to production. Binghamton University's engineering school is conducting the analysis using funds generated within the university plus funding from Eck Plastic and the state of New York.