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Design business Geometoy has used the prototyping services of Proto Labs to solve a number of complex design and injection-moulding problems to create a snap-together toy called Reptangles.

According to Geometoy designer Jonathan Stapleton, an interest in 3D tessellation led to the creation of a small, 3D building block resembling a turtle.

The toy, which has now been licensed to a manufacturer and distributor of educational playthings, is produced in injection-moulded plastic and is packaged in sets.

Back in 2004, when Stapleton was ready to create prototypes suitable for functional testing, a local injection-moulding company based in Seattle, US, suggested that he try Proto Labs, which was then known as Protomold.

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Key benefits of product application

  • Proto Labs ensured that the snaps would work and that they would provide solid connections.
  • The injection-moulding process also ensured that the snaps could be effectively made in straight-pull moulds; according to Stapleton, injection moulding was the only method that would confirm the ‘mouldability’ of parts.

Proto Labs

Proto Labs delivers fully functional prototypes in production-intent materials to dramatically cut the cost and time normally associated with product development. This empowers designers and engineers with the means to rapidly develop, test, and get their products to market first in an ever-competitive global market place.

Proto Labs delivers fully functional prototypes in production-intent materials to dramatically cut the cost and time normally associated with product development. This empowers designers and engineers with the means to rapidly develop, test, and get their products to market first in an ever-competitive global market place.

Protomold delivers injection-moulded parts from moulds manufactured utilising state-of-the-art high-speed CNC machining technologies. Parts can be moulded using almost any engineering-grade resin and are ideal for prototyping, bridge tooling and low-volume production.

First Cut satisfies the need for functional prototypes much earlier in the development cycle for quantities of 1–10+. Because First Cut delivers prototypes in engineering-grade resins and aluminium they will have real material properties and improved surface finishes. In other words, they will be functional.

When you submit your 3D CAD model, Proto Labs’ powerful super-compute cluster creates an interactive quote giving pricing options and where appropriate, suggesting changes to improve manufacturability. You simply interact with your quote online, tailor options such as material and delivery to your requirements and with every change, the pricing information automatically updates. This built-in ‘what-if’ analysis enables last-minute project refinements to be accommodated at the click of a button.

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