Prototyping new parts isn’t always an easy endeavor even for experienced manufacturers. The process of producing, testing, and evaluating new components takes quite a bit of time and effort for all involved. As necessary as prototyping is, the traditional path for it is anything but efficient. Thankfully, Stafford Manufacturing is helping to change that with the new SPARC program. Read on to learn more about the various challenges of mechanical prototyping and how the SPARC program is tackling them.
What are the Challenges of Prototyping?
There are many challenges that manufacturers face when custom prototyping. These include:
- Development time. Prototypes often require significant amounts of development time, both initial and for continued testing. New products go through several stages of development, but each new stage inevitably costs quite a bit of time, money, and effort.
- Prototyping expenses. The more development time and hardware the prototyping process requires, the more expensive it will be.
- Production problems. During the prototyping process, certain production issues may arise such as process issues, shortages of materials, material incompatibility with the design, and accuracy issues in the prototyped design versus the original blueprint.
- Software issues. When converting original design files into a CAD model, there is often a risk of defects such as data loss. This greatly affects the surface quality and overall precision of the prototype.
- User confusion. A design may work on paper but be harder to put into action when in the hands of a user. Changes from the original design to the current one can also be a source of confusion if certain features are missing.
The Stafford Prototype and Repair Collar System (SPARC)
Prototype manufacturing can be greatly simplified by using Stafford Manufacturing’s new SPARC program. SPARC is a 3-D printing solution to mechanical prototyping, allowing manufacturers to quickly produce models of shaft collars at a fraction of the cost and effort. 3-D printed models such as these can be created in only a few hours, greatly reducing both the amount of production time as well as the downtime in between production. This also means faster testing and faster feedback on designs, which further cuts design time.
The SPARC system provides a precision-machined Master Collar, available in one-and two-piece split clamp styles, in three OD sizes, in Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminum, and is designed to accept a customized 3D printed insert. This provides a great amount of variety for testing new designs while keeping prototypes to a precise standard. The 3-D printed prototypes do not compromise on quality, allowing testers to get a sense of how the final version of the collar will operate. Additionally, Stafford Manufacturing assists manufacturers by providing a free library of shaft collar designs to use for prototyping, saving time that would otherwise be used in designing a custom collar.
Stafford Manufacturing for Prototyping Parts
Prototyping can be a costly, tedious, and imprecise venture, but Stafford Manufacturing’s SPARC system of 3-D prototype generation is set to change that. Providing many of the things that traditional prototyping lacks (accuracy in design, ease of manufacturing, lower costs, quicker manufacturing, etc.), SPARC enables more effective testing and a better end product.
To learn more about SPARC, contact Stafford Manufacturing today. As industry leaders in prototyping and manufacturing shaft collars, rigid shaft couplings, and other specialty mechanical parts, we have the experience and skill needed to provide excellent results at fair prices.