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Gamesman, a West Sussex-based designer of buttons, mechanisms and illuminated features for gaming products usually found in casinos, has used the Firstcut machining service from Proto Labs to create a prototype of a handle for a one-arm-bandit-type gaming machine.

The company usually relies on contract manufacturers in China to supply components, but for this particular project mechanical engineer Richard Löffler looked closer to home for a faster, less expensive way to source parts.

Löffler uploaded his CAD model to Firstcut’s website, after which he received a report recommending modifications that would improve the CNC machining of the part.

Key specifications

  • The handle is designed in two halves using Solidworks
  • Instead of machining both the internal and the external features of the handle, Firstcut recommended machining only the external details, resulting in cost savings
  • Another service from Proto Labs, called Protomold, has been used to make injection-moulded buttons for other gaming machines

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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