Amazing companies choose PROTOTEK for high-quality parts done fast!
Rapid Prototyping – Working with PROTOTEK
Deep capabilities in sheet metal and machining – design, rapid prototyping, manufacturing, finishing, and even complex assemblies.
What do we do?
- Sheet Metal Parts & Assemblies in as Fast as 1-3 Days
- CNC Milled and Turned Parts in as Fast as 1-3 Days
- Complex Parts
- Same Day or Emergency Jobs – Call us Now!
About our fast, flexible personalized service:
- ISO-9001:2015 Certified, ITAR Registered
- Quotes within 24 Hours – Call us if you need it faster!
- Estimates with or without CAD Models
- We Want Complex Jobs – We Quote Parts Others Reject
Because every prototyping job is unique, and many require special considerations for materials, finishing, custom work, and/or urgent delivery – our rapid prototyping quotes are turned around by seasoned estimators who confirm all aspects of your job. No automated quoting that works on cookie-cutter algorithms here to limit your project or your imagination. We figure out the best way to run your job first – and that’s why we deliver so many prototyping jobs that other shops turn away.
Our rapid prototyping services & other capabilities start below but they don’t stop there. Want to talk to someone about a job, upload a file for quote or call us now.
NO CAD MODEL, NO PROBLEM
QUOTES WITHIN 24HRS
PARTS & ASSEMBLIES – ONE STOP SHOP
NO ORDER TOO SMALL
EXPEDITED PARTS IN 1-3 DAYS
- Manufacturing Design Assistance
- Laser Cutting - Punching
- Material Graining
- Drilling - Countersinking - Tapping
- Forming - Bending
- Hardware Insertion
- Mechanical Assembly
- TIG, MIG, Spot Welding & Weld Grinding
- Welded Assemblies & Frames
- Up to 5-Axis Milling
- Horizontal & Vertical Milling
- 9-Axis Mill-Turn
- CNC Routing
- Surface Grinding
- Lapping & Polishing
- Welding / Post-Weld Machining
- Heli-Coils / Hardware Inserts
Cutting & Engraving
- Wire EDM Cutting
- Waterjet Cutting
- CO2 Laser
- Quality Engineering Assistance
- CMM Inspection Services
- First Article and AQL Inspections
- Compliance and Document Control
Plastic & Composite Fabrication
- Plastic Thermoforming - Bending
- Cryogenic Deflashing & Deburring
- Plastic Welding
- Thermal, Adhesive, & Mechanical Bonding
- Vapor Polishing
- Radiological Film-Cutting Services
- Manufacturing Design Assistance
- Tooling and Fixture Fabrication
- Electro-Mechanical Services
- Welded, Mechanical, & Small Parts Assembly
- Wire Harnessing
- Laser Cutting – Polymers & Metals
- Insert Installation
- Powder Coating
- Chemical Agent Resistant Coating
- Silk Screening
- Laser Engraving
- Chem Film
- Black Oxide
- Bead Blasting
Defining Rapid Prototyping
Rapid prototyping is the fast manufacturing / production of a sample part that is intended to eventually become a mass-produced component. The rapid nature of prototyping is dependent on how detailed and finished the prototype needs to be. The fastest prototyping involves creating a prototype that may not have all the final finishes but helps to establish whether or not a designed component will work. Rapid prototyping is becoming more and more popular on a global scale due to its many advantages, such as helping to reduce design and development time and cost, as well as helping to test the functionality of the product prior to mass production.
General Rapid Prototyping Process
Rapid prototyping typically involves the following steps:
- Product prototype design
- Product prototype fabrication
- Post-processing /finishing
The process starts with creating a design model of the prototype, typically using a computer-aided design program (a.k.a. CAD). After the design model is situated, the physical model of the prototype is fabricated. Finally, in the post-processing step, some minor cleaning and surface treatment processes are applied in order to improve the physical appearance of the prototype. Depending on how finished the prototype needs to be, additional steps and finishing details can be involved.
CNC Machining and Rapid Prototyping
When using a CNC machine to rapid prototype, a solid block is cut through different subtractive processes such as drilling, milling, grinding, boring, turning, facing, countersinking and tapping, to produce the final product.
Rapid Sheet Metal Fabrication and Rapid Prototyping
Rapid prototyping can often involve a manufacturing process known as sheet metal fabrication. In this, sheet metal processes such as bending, piercing and notching, along with different welding processes, can be performed to rapidly create the desired prototype.
Services Involved with Rapid Prototyping
Here are several processes and related machines utilized in rapid prototyping:
Laser Cutting – Punching – Lasers have also become a useful tool in rapid prototyping. Laser cutting is a process in which a laser-focused beam is used to cut material. In order to ensure the precision of the cutting, the laser beam is attached to the CNC control. In the punching process, a metal sheet is inserted between a punch and die. The punch pushes the excess metal into the die. This whole process is also CNC controlled.
Material Graining – Material graining is the process of adding a uniform surface finish to sheet metal parts. This is done by passing the sheet metal through a belt grinder. This process removes any imperfection, defects, scratches and surface porosity from the metal parts and leaves a uniform polished surface.
Drilling – Countersinking – Tapping
Drilling: Drilling is the machining process used to produce a circular hole in solid material using a rotating cutter (called drill bits).
Countersinking: Countersinking is a machining process after drilling in which a cone-shaped enlargement at the end of a hole is made to provide a recess for a flat head screw or a countersunk rivet.
Tapping: Tapping is a machining process after drilling in which threads inside a hole are produced so that a bolt can be threaded into the hole.
Forming – Bending
Forming: Forming is the metalworking process in which the sheet metal is mechanically formed into pre-defined geometrical shapes by the application of a certain load.
Bending: In bending, force is applied to the sheet metal causing it to bend at a predefined angle to form the required shape.
Hardware Insertion – Hardware insertion is another important step in the sheet metal fabrication process. In order to connect different sheet metal parts for assembly, connectors (pins, nuts, studs, etc.) of various types may be used. The connector material is very important. The hardness of the connectors must be greater than the sheet metal so that the connectors cannot be damaged.
Mechanical Assembly – Mechanical assembly is the most critical step in sheet metal fabrication and prototype production. Choosing the right mechanical assembly method is necessary for the product to function properly. Some common methods are assembly through hardware such as nuts, bolts, and screws, weld assembly, rivet assembly, brazing, and soldering.
TIG, MIG, Spot Welding & Weld Grinding – In the sheet metal fabrication process, different welding processes are commonly used. Some of the common welding processes include:
Tungsten Insert Gas (TIG) Welding: TIG welding is an arc welding process in which the weld is produced through a non-consumable tungsten electrode. This electrode is used to heat the metal and can be used with or without filler.
Metal Insert Gas (MIG) Welding: MIG welding is used mostly for thick materials and employs a consumable wire that acts both as an electrode and filler material.
Spot Welding: Spot welding is also called resistance spot welding. In this welding method, two or more sheets are welded together by applying pressure and heat from an electric current to the weld area.
After welding, the removal of the excess weld is carried out in order to make a smooth surface. This process is called weld grinding and it is done by a grinder machine.
Welded Assemblies & Frames – In order to make large frames, different parts are assembled and joined together through welding and assembled into the shape of a frame. Welding assembly is generally used in those applications when there is a need to make stronger structures for heavy applications.
Rapid Prototyping Materials and Material Characteristics
CNC Materials for Rapid Prototyping
|Rapid CNC Materials||Grade / Alloy||Heat Treatable||Tensile Strength (Ultimate, PSI)||Fatigue Strength (PSI)||Hardness (Brinell)||Rapid CNC Machinability (AISI Rating)||Rapid CNC Materials||Grade / Alloy||Heat Treatable||Tensile Strength (Ultimate, PSI)||Fatigue Strength (PSI)||Hardness (Brinell)||Rapid CNC Machinability (AISI Rating)|
|Brass||C46400||No||55000 - 88000||14500||82||30%|
|Silicon Aluminum Bronze||C64200||No||75000-102000||50000||N/A||60%|
|Machine Type||Machining Method||XYZ Machining Limits||Precision / Repeatability (in.)||Axis||Brand / Description||Model / Description||Machine Type||Machining Method||XYZ Machining Limits||Precision / Repeatability (in.)||Axis||Brand / Description||Model / Description|
|Milling||CNC Horizontal Mill||20" X 20" X 20"||±0.0002||B-Axis||Daewooo||DHP 4000 High Speed NC-HMC|
|Milling||CNC Horizontal Mill||20" X 20" X 20"||±0.0002||B-Axis||Doosan||HP 4000 High Speed NC-HMC|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||24.4" X 19.7" X 11.8"||±0.00004||3-axis||Sodick (1/2)||High Speed CNC-VMC (Machine # as of 04-21-2021)|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||24.4" X 19.7" X 11.8"||±0.00004||3-axis||Sodick (2/2)||High Speed CNC-VMC (Machine # as of 04-21-2021)|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||64" X 29" X 24"||±0.00012||4-axis||Doosan||DNM 750 CNC-VMC|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||27.6" X 15.7" X 11.8"||±0.00012||3-axis||Brother (1/4)||TC-S2D-0 CNC-VMC & Tapping Center (Machine # as of 04-21-2021)|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||27.6" X 15.7" X 11.8"||±0.00012||3-axis||Brother (2/4)||TC-S2D-0 CNC-VMC & Tapping Center (Machine # as of 04-21-2021)|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||27.6" X 15.7" X 11.8"||±0.00012||3-axis||Brother (3/4)||TC-S2D-0 CNC-VMC & Tapping Center (Machine # as of 04-21-2021)|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||27.6" X 15.7" X 11.8"||±0.00012||3-axis||Brother (4/4)||TC-S2D-0 CNC-VMC & Tapping Center (Machine # as of 04-21-2021)|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||51.5" X 22.5" X 24"||±0.0002||4-axis||Akira Seiki||Performa V5AXP CNC-VMC|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||32" X 20" X 20"||±0.0002||3-axis||Akira Seiki||V3-A Performa CNC-VMC|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||32" X 19" X 20"||±0.0002||3-axis||Akira Seiki||V3 Performa CNC-VMC|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||24" X 18" X 20"||±0.0002||3-axis||Akira Seiki||SV600 CNC-VMC|
|Mill-Turn||CNC Multi-Axis||Bar capacity: 2.6" - Main Spindle Std Chuck: 6"Main Spindle Max Chuck: 8″ - Max turning diameter: 21.25"Max turning length: 40.15"||±0.00008||9-axis||Doosan||Puma MX 2100ST, Multi-Axis, Multi-Tasking CNC Turning Center|
|Mill-Turn||CNC Multi-Axis||Bar capacity: 2.6" - Chuck capacity: 8" - Swing: 9.1"Max turning diameter 9" - Max turning length: 27.4"||X & Z-axis: ±0.00008Y-axis: ±0.00012C-axis: ±0.006°||8-axis||Doosan||Puma TT1800SY, Multi-Axis CNC Turning Center|
|Mill-Turn||CNC Multi-Axis||Bar Capacity: 2.6" - Chuck capacity: 8" - Swing: 21.6"Max turning diameter: 13" - Max turning length: 20.1"||X & Z-axis: ±0.00008Y-axis: ±0.00012C-axis: ±0.006°||Y-Axis||Daewooo||Puma 2000Y, High Performance Turning Center with Y-axis|
|Turning||CNC Lathe||Bar capacity: 2" - Chuck capacity: 6.5" - Swing: 20"Max turning diameter: 9.8" - Max turning length: 20"||X & Z-axis: ±0.00008C-axis: ±0.006°||Daewooo||Lynx 220LM, High Performance Mill-Drill Turning Center|
|Router||CNC Router||110" X 53" X 9.8"||±0.002||Anderson||Stratos WFD CNC Router, 2 Spindles|
|Laser Cutting||CNC Laser||48″ X 48″ Cutting Pallet, 12″ Z-Travel||±0.0002||-||Beam Dynamics||LMC-5000 CNC Laser Cutting System|
|Laser Cutting||CNC Laser||X-axis: 120.86" - Y: 61.02" - Z-axis: 3.93" Max Material Thickness: 0.875" (4kW)||±0.0004||5-axis||Amada||FOL 3015 AJ Fiber Laser AJ4000|
|Press Brake||CNC Hydraulic Press Brake||Max Bend Length: 102.4" - Dist. Between Frames (A): 87" Stroke Length: 9.8" - Open Height (no holders): 20.5" Throat Depth: 17.7" - Machine stroke: 9.8" - Table Height: 37.4"||-||Amada||HG 8025|
|Press Brake||CNC Hydraulic Press Brake||Max Bend Length: 126.77" - Stroke Length: 7.87" Movement Range: L-axis: 27.55" - Y-axis: 86.6" - Z-axis: 9.8"||-||Amada||HDS-1303NT|
|Press Brake||CNC Hydraulic Press Brake||Max Bend Length: 98.48" - Stroke Length: 5.91"||-||Amada||FBD 8025 NT|
|Press Brake||CNC Hydraulic Press Brake||Max Bend Length: 41.3" - Dist. Between Frames (A): 27.9" Stroke Length: 5.9" - Open Height (with PHL): 16.5"||-||Amada||EG 4010|
|Press Brake||CNC Hydraulic Press Brake||Max Bend Length: 82.08" - Stroke Length: 3.93"||-||Amada||RG-M2 5020|
|Press Brake||CNC Hydraulic Press Brake||Max Bend Length: 94" - Stroke Length: 3.94" Open Height: 14.58" - Closed Height: 7" - Throat Depth: 15.76"||-||Amada||RG-80|
|Press Brake||CNC Hydraulic Press Brake||Max Bend Length: 122" - Max Stroke Length: 5.91" Open Height: 16.5" - Throat Depth: 15.7" Distance between side frames: 106" - Length of Stroke: 5.91"||-||Amada||FBD 1253 NT|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||26" X 15" X 4"||±0.005||3-axis||Sharp||LMV|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||26" X 15" X 4"||±0.005||3-axis||Sharp||OMV|
|Milling||CNC Horizontal Mill||22.06" X 26.2" X 26.2"||±0.0002||3-axis||Mazak||Nexus 4000-III Horizontal Center|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||13.78" X 21.66" X 20.08"||±0.0002||5-axis||Mazak||Variaxis J-500/5X (Machine #1 as of 04-21-2021)|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||13.78" X 21.66" X 20.08"||±0.0002||5-axis||Mazak||Variaxis J-500/5X (Machine #2 as of 04-21-2021)|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||41.3" X 20" X 20"||±0.0002||4-axis||Mazak||Nexus 510C-II|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||17.72" X 8.27" X 36.69"Capacity - Max Swing: 20.87" - Max Machining Dia: 19.69"Max Bar Work Capacity: 4.0" - Max Machining Length: 33.62"||±0.0002||5-axis||Mazak||Integrex i-100 Bartac-S|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||20.08" X 36.83" X 20.08"||±0.0002||5-axis||Mazak||Variaxis i-600|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||26" X 16" X 20"||±0.0002||3-axis||Hurco||VM10i|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||40" X 20" X 20"||±0.0002||3-axis||Hurco||VM20i|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||50" X 20" X 20"||±0.0002||3-axis||Hurco||VM30i|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||42" X 24" X 24"||±0.0002||3-axis||Hurco||VMX42|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||24" X 20" X 24"||±0.0002||3-axis||Hurco (1/3)||VMX24 (Machine #10 as of 04-21-2021)|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||24" X 20" X 24"||±0.0002||3-axis||Hurco (2/3)||VMX24 (Machine #11 as of 04-21-2021)|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||24" X 20" X 24"||±0.0002||3-axis||Hurco (3/3)||VMX24 (Machine #12 as of 04-21-2021)|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||60" X 25.98" X 24.01"||±0.0002||5-axis||Hurco||VMX60 SRTi|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||26" X 14" X 18"||±0.0002||3-axis||Hurco (1/2)||VM1 (Machine #17 as of 04-21-2021)|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||26" X 14" X 18"||±0.0002||3-axis||Hurco (2/2)||VM1 (Machine #19 as of 04-21-2021)|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||40" X 18" X 18"||±0.0002||3-axis||Hurco||VM2|
|Turning||CNC Lathe||Bar capacity: 2.6" - Chuck capacity: 8" - Max Swing: 26.6" Max turning diameter: 14.76" - Max turning length: 21.28"||Positioning accuracy: ±0.0002 Repeatability: ±0.0001||3-axis||Mazak||Nexus 200-II MY Quick Turn|
|Turning||CNC Lathe||Bar capacity: 2.0" - Chuck capacity: 8" - Max Swing: 10"Max turning diameter: 12" - Max turning length: 18.8"||Positioning accuracy: ±0.0002 Repeatability: ±0.0001||3-axis||Hurco||TM8 lathe|
|Press Brake||CNC Hydraulic Press Brake||Bed Length: 80" - Stroke: 4"Distance between housings: 60" - Throat: 16"||-||Guifil||PE 20-60|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||42" X 24" X 20"||±.0002||3-axis||OKK||VB53|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||26" X 14" X 18"||±.002||3-axis||Hurco||VMX1|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||26" X 16" X 20"||±.0008||3-axis||Hurco||VM10i|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||40" X 20" X 20"||±.002 (Temporary)||3-axis||Hurco||VM20|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||30" X 20" X 24"||±.00019||3-axis||Hurco||VMX30i|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||30" X 20" X 24"||±.00019||3-axis||Hurco||VMX30i (30)|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||30" X 20" X 24"||±.00019||3-axis||Hurco||VMX30i (A)|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||30" X 20" X 24"||±.00019||3-axis||Hurco||VMX30i (B)|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||42" X 24" X 24"||±.0003||3-axis||Hurco||VMX42|
|Milling||CNC Vertical Mill||84" X 34" X 30"||±.00019||3-axis||Hurco||VMX84i|
|Laser Cutting||CNC Laser||48" X 96"||±.005||3-axis||Mitsubishi||HV-2512HV-20CF2|
|Press Brake||CNC Hydraulic Press Brake||Overall Die Length: 72" - Overall Die Length: 72"Distance Between Housings: 52" - Stroke, adjustable: 8"Open Height: 14" - Closed Height: 6" - Throat Depth: 8"||±.005 @ 6"||-||Accurpress||7606|
|Turning||CNC Lathe||Bar capacity: 2.36" - Chuck capacity: 8" - Max Swing: 18"Max turning diameter: 14" - Max turning length: 40"||±.00018||-||Trak Lathe||TRAK-1845RX|
We Have the Materials to be Rapid – We have the most common materials in stock, which allows us to stay rapid and avoid having to wait for ordered materials to arrive. If more custom materials are needed, we can get almost any material in a day. If we have your materials on hand, we can complete many rapid prototyping jobs in as fast as a day. This is something most job shops can’t offer.
Available Rapid Prototyping Finishes:
Anodizing – Anodizing helps reduce corrosion and enhances your part with a more metallic look. It produces a very durable finish, can reduce scratching, and act as an electrical insulator.
Chromate Plating – Chromate plating provides protection for your parts from corrosion and provides the ability to paint the part. Certain metals will require special pre-treating to take full advantage of chromate plating.
We have in-house painting and plating services which allow us to turn around parts in a short amount of time, even for rapid prototyping jobs that require finishing.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are you a broker or a manufacturer?
We are a full service sheet metal and machining manufacturer with four U.S. production facilities across the nation allowing us to deliver your high-quality parts FAST.
Does PROTOTEK manufacture in higher-volume quantities?
We focus on prototypes to low-volume production and can do larger runs. All our parts, from one – to 100 – to 1,000+ are always delivered with production-quality finish.
What are your payment terms?
PROTOTEK offers Net 30 payment terms for established customers with good credit.
What file formats are required or suggested for requesting a quote?
We accept .STP, .DWG, .IGS, .PDF, Parasolid files, and more.
What if I need help with my part design?
Our estimators are on hand to discuss your specific job needs. Our expert team can help you move your project smoothly through the design process and on to delivery.
If I do not have a CAD model, can you quote/fabricate my parts?
Yes, we can work directly from your drawings. Additional engineering charge (NRC) may apply depending on complexity.
How do I submit my NDA and other document requests?
Submit your NDA, Approved Vendor and other document requests to your sales rep or estimator.
How long is a quote valid?
Our quotes stand firm for 7 days from the date of issue.
How fast can I get my order?
Lead time for standard orders is 10 business days. Expediting options are available, including emergency service – down to as fast as 1-2 business days, depending on complexity of work and materials.