Canadian 3D printed molds and casting tools success

Article by Karen Majerly updated December 4, 2013

Article
Canadian 3D printed molds

Canadian 3D printed molds and casting tools used in the advanced manufacturing of polyurethane products

Since 1965, Prothane Inc. has built its business on one amazing material with unique and desirable properties – polyurethane. Today, the company is also building its business because of the materials used in 3D printing technology allowing them to create Canadian 3D printed molds and casting tools. Only a few months after purchasing a Stratasys Objet 3D printer from Javelin Technologies, Sean McTear, president of Prothane, can easily outline the benefits he’s seen in his shop.

“We used to have to turn down jobs because they were too intricate, or the customer needed completion in too short a time frame,” McTear says. “Now we can take on jobs we never would have even dreamed about.”

Prothane specializes in custom manufacturing of polyurethane products, including mold making. One of the most interesting ways they use their 3D printer is for reverse molding. They print a sample part, cast a polyurethane mold from that model, then use that mold to make the polyurethane parts.

The Stratasys Objet30 Pro isn’t the first 3D printer Prothane has had, but it is the best. McTear says he was looking for accuracy, smooth surface, and quality finish.

“We want our parts to look as good as possible,” he says. “The accuracy is completely there, even for thin, intricate, complex parts – it’s identical to a machine shop. There’s cost savings and time savings because I don’t have to send anything out for machining now. These days, customers need things faster, and I can produce a model in a day or two. We just hit print, the printer runs overnight, and the part is ready for us in the morning.”

Prothane employs 11 people operating out of a 12,000 square-foot facility in Milton, Ontario (including sta, technology, and operations acquired through the purchase of Amathane in 2010). Prothane customers depend on polyurethane parts that hold up to environmental stresses better than rubber, plastic, or metal. Customers demand a broad range of castable polyurethane formulas for use in aerospace, automotive, nuclear, military, manufacturing, mining, pipeline, and water and wastewater treatment. Prothane assists with every stage of part development and their ability to customize has given them a diverse product portfolio.

Prothane choose Javelin for Canadian 3D printed molds

McTear chose Javelin Technologies as the source for Canadian 3D printed molds after Javelin’s John Brown presented at an industry conference in Montreal.

“John put on an excellent presentation about what the Stratasys Objet 30 can do and the other services Javelin offers in training and support. They are very professional and respond quickly when you have questions. The service I receive from them directly affects my customers.”

The way Prothane uses the Stratasys Objet30 Pro is continually evolving. They find different applications and test new ideas every week.

“3D design and printing technology is going to take off drastically in the next few years,” McTear says. “And Javelin’s capabilities in the modern world make anything possible.”

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Karen Majerly

Karen Majerly is a communications specialist who helps remarkable people tell rich stories. She has been working with the TriMech Group of companies since 2013.