This is the 4th in a series of FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions – that ProtoCAM hears from customers who call or email. Topic #4 – Size of Part / Prototype. The first three in the FAQs series were focused on process-type questions: 3D CAD files, quoting and pricing. The next few FAQs will address technology questions.
Customers often ask about what part/prototype SIZE is possible. Size constraints vary among different additive manufacturing techniques. Since stereolithography (SLA) is the most popular among our customers, we’ll answer in terms of what can be done with SLA technology.
The largest stereolithography (SLA) part that ProtoCAM can produce in ONE piece must fit within a 25.6″ x 29.5″ x 21.65″ envelope, but we can, and have, built much larger parts. For these larger parts, we divide the CAD file into sections that can be made as individual pieces, then produce the part in sections. When all sections are completed, we assemble it using a variety of techniques.
The assembly choice is typically driven by how the part or prototype is going to be used.If it’s simply a display model, we may use an adhesive to combine the parts. If more strength or durability is required, parts can be pinned, braced, or joined with threaded brass inserts.
Some of our molding projects, such as the one pictured above, are big enough to require chain hoists and forklifts to maneuver! The art piece to the right measured about 6 feet across (shown here packed for safe transport to gallery.)
The smallest part ProtoCAM can build is constrained only by the limits of our stereolithography machines’ high resolution mode. For example, we built the following part a while back measuring only .075” x .075” x .035.”
As always, to find out the specific answer to your question about your part, just contact us!