Rapidtech 2

Report on RapidTech Practicum by Jason M.
Tour courtesy of Ed Tackett, RapidTech Director
MAE165 • Prof. Marc Madou • 24 May 2010
RapidTech is an educational entity that is part of Saddleback College and
partially funded by the National Science Foundation. The National Center assists
businesses, educational institutions, entrepreneurs and community-based
organizations develop new products and designs using innovative rapid
prototyping technologies, additive manufacturing, and reverse engineering.
Primary Capabilities:
Product development
Early Stage Concept models
Reverse engineering
Rapid prototyping
Additive manufacturing
Much of RapidTech’s lab
equipment is donated by Sony
Stereolithography: SLA-250/50
• A vat of liquid UV-curable resin is scanned
by a laser in the same manner as a laser
• The laser draws cross sections of the part
to be machined, building the part one layer
at a time
• Computer controlled, accepts CAD
Build size: 10x10x10
Materials: Polypropylene (Machine 1), ABS
grey plastic (Machine 2)
Stereolithography: SCS-8000
• A larger version of the SCS-250/50
• Build size: 24x19x12
• Produces parts in clear ABS plastic
• Worth $700k, donated by Sony
Selective Laser Sintering: DTM Sinterstation 2000
• High power laser fuses small particles of plastic to form parts
• Airlocked build chamber, filled with low pressure nitrogen flow
• Build size: 12x12 cylinder
• Material: Nylon 11
• Rated to produce aircraft-quality parts
Laser lens
Digital Light Projector: EnvisionTec Perfactory
• Digitally projected UV light cures photosensitive
resin in a similar manner as stereolithography
• Build size: 3x4x73
• Material: Various
• Build speed up to 1’’/hour
• Networks with computers
• Described as “a pain in the butt”, yet capable of
doing “some really cool things” by Ed Tackett
Laser Cutter/Engraver: Pinnacle M-25
• Build size: 24x18
• Materials: Various
• Cuts from 0.01 to 42 inch/sec
• Up to 1000 dpi resolution
• Accuracy up to 0.005’’
• Glass shield burnt away by student who
tried to engrave flammable material
Vacuum Forming: Compact MIDI 320
• Build size: 18x18
• Maximum depth of 6’’
• Materials: Any type of plastic
• Ceramic heater (right) slides over
vacuum forming chamber
• Used by RapidTech to create models for
medical facial reconstruction
Laser Scanning: NextEngine
• Used for modeling detailed or organic
objects that are too complex to
recreate accurately with CAD
• Measures laser time of flight to
determine exact position of roughly 1
million points on the surface of the
• Rotating table makes sure object is
scanned from all angels
RapidTech is a educational entity funded by the National Science
Foundation and assists businesses, educational institutions, entrepreneurs
and community-based organizations in taking advantage of additive
manufacturing technology. Equipment is donated, and repair/upkeep is
funded by private contributions.
Future Plans
RapidTech plans on moving to UC Irvine in order to expand its facilities, which are
currently limited to one small building on the Saddleback campus.
More Information
For more information on RapidTech’s goals and capabilities, and for a full listing of
available equipment, visit the website at www.RapidTech.org
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