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The Specs

Development Time: 2 Weeks
Applied Processes: 3 Axis Milling and Inspection 
Materials Employed: ABS Plastic
Industry: Automotive

3D Surfacing

An automotive armrest manufacturer contacted Metalmite about rapid prototyping a new arm rest for the GM Acadia before it came out.  The company had previously used Stereolithography (SLA) for this need, but had decided they needed a prototype made out a more durable material.  Metalmite suggested the use of Selective Laser Sintering, sometimes called SLS, which uses a high-temperature laser to melt and fuse, or sinter, powdered plastics or metal into a solid model.  After exploring SLS with Metalmite and their affiliates, they decided to have Metalmite use 3D surfacing on their Mori Seiki Mill and make the first part complete out of ABS Plastic.  Metalmite used their Virtual Gibbs, or Gibbs Cam software to create a tool path to cut the part right to the customer’s specifications.  In a matter of hours they had the product they were looking for at a very competitive price.