Accelerating every stage of a product’s lifecycle.
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Fiber Optic Loopback
CHALLENGE: A fiber optic cable manufacturer wanted to design their own version of a loopback, a common testing device that “loops” a signal back through a transceiver port to verify that the port is working correctly. With their own product they could avoid high prices and large levels of inventory. They could also improve upon existing designs for applications with tight form factors.
SOLUTION: TekRex worked with the manufacturer to design loopbacks for a variety of adapter types and form factors. When it came time for production, the Carbon M2 printer was chosen due to its high level of finish and production capacity. Of special note is the how the MTP loopback (the rightmost model) had a special locking mechanism for ease of assembly.
IMPACT: This line of loopbacks continues to be a highly sought-after product through the manufacturer’s online store, and is offered at a price below its competitors. Due to it being 3D printed, the manufacturer keeps inventory and its associated costs to a minimum.
CHALLENGE: Austin’s children’s museum, Thinkery, wanted to make a splash with centerpieces at their annual Imaginarium fundraiser. With a focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math), a 3D-printed, geometric version of their mascot was a perfect fit – but where to start?
SOLUTION: Charting a course of action based on a paper model and a preferred color palette, TekRex went through several iterations for a functional piggy bank that could be produced in volume quickly and under the nonprofit’s budget.
IMPACT: The models were a hit, and 50 models were auctioned off with all proceeds benefiting Thinkery.
Customized Potting Solution
CHALLENGE: A customer specializing in microwave technology had a product with a fragile cable breakout. Due to volume and time constraints, a traditional overmold wasn’t a viable option.
SOLUTION: TekRex and sister company, iRex, designed, printed and assembled the new products in one week as compared to the 6-week lead time for traditional manufacturing.
IMPACT: The cable assemblies and their overmold alternatives were created at a price and timeframe impossible through traditional manufacturing and with excellent build quality due to the custom shape.
CHALLENGE: Local university needed ‘cornerstone’ commemorative gift for its centennial anniversary.
SOLUTION: After a few iterations and presentations with the university, a specialty stone-like European PLA material – combined with the services of a local pad printing company for the needed text – was selected as the best solution.
IMPACT: The research and design by TekRex provided a highly-customized, high-quality and cost-effective ‘wow’ factor for university supporters to commemorate its 100-year anniversary.
Medical Device Redesign
CHALLENGE: A medical device company needed a quick turnaround on a new design for one their products.
SOLUTION: Using an SLA printer to print multiple iterations in a transparent and tough material, our team could stress test and navigate the design process to get results quicker.
IMPACT: Reduced development cost by 97% vs injection modeling and iteration time from 6 weeks to 1 day.
CHALLENGE: Low quantity injection molded part mandated purchasing 2 years of supply and amortizing the molding cost into the cost of the finished goods.
SOLUTION: Redesign the part to optimize for 3D printing instead of injection molding, allowing for creative design changes and inventory control.
IMPACT: Reduced inventory to 2 weeks’ supply and cost by 50%. Using 3D printing and the new design, customer was able to begin offering branded products at a lower cost and update design as needed.
CHALLENGE: A company making secure devices needed a custom bit pattern to prevent tampering. They needed the bit sourced quickly while avoiding the high costs of injection molding.
SOLUTION: After extensive material and production analysis, we produced a piece at a price point only slightly higher than an off-the-shelf part.
IMPACT: Exceeded the client’s expectation in terms of time, cost, and quality of finish.
Capacitor Holder Redesign
CHALLENGE: The Select Laster Sintering (SLS) capacitor holder from a 3D printing service bureau was out of tolerance and the design created stress on the wire connections when trying to remove the capacitor pack.
SOLUTION: Switched to a more reliable and cost effective 3D printing method after discussing design improvements.
IMPACT: 20% cost reduction. Stress-free capacitor pack removal and better fit.
CHALLENGE: Production Team had difficulty aligning a sticker with complex geometry to a sheet metal enclosure.
SOLUTION: Designed a sticker assembly aid that perfectly aligns to the enclosure.
IMPACT: Tripled daily unit production. $56,000 labor cost savings.
Fixture Production Tool
CHALLENGE: Customer needed a safe and reliable way to remove a tab from an existing shell with a curved body to accommodate new electrical layout.
SOLUTION: Designed a fixture with a flat surface to cradle the shell while using a hot knife to remove the tab.
IMPACT: Simplified the rework and improved accuracy and final appearance while reducing the labor time by 20%.
Get up and running in days not weeks. We understand the intricacies and variables that go into production 3D printing.
From scanning and CMM measurement to reverse engineering and embedded design, we can provide the solution that works for your product.
We needed a part printed in 24 hours for a customer. TekRex provided the 3D printed part in the material I requested, and even gave me an alternate material to test in the application. They were knowledgeable, responsive, professional, and appropriately priced. I will definitely use them for future projects.
TekRex has been an excellent partner. They have provided [our company] with production jigs that improve our efficiency tenfold, and they ensure critical tolerances are consistently met. They are quick, precise, and they deliver on time.
My company used TekRex’s 3D printing services during exploratory testing of new products. We found that TekRex offered high-quality prints in varying materials at a rapid pace. Being a local company, our turnaround was much quicker when using TekRex compared to other large name rapid prototyping services, and we often found the prices to be equivalent or cheaper. The staff at TekRex was extremely helpful and always readily available – I would recommend their services to anyone.
I’ve worked with TekRex on various projects. Whether you need a simple, quick prototype or a functional mechanical part, TekRex has the knowledge and equipment to meet your project needs. They have competitive pricing and deliver on time.
TekRex’s ability to create reliable and repeatable 3D printed parts allowed us to eliminate expensive molds, customize and modify parts on the fly, speed up time to market, reduce our inventory carrying costs, and offer our customers significant savings. This represents an innovative and transformational approach to our business, and positions us for success going forward!
A valued customer needed a quick-turn thermal study done on a new tablet-sized product, but due to schedule and budget constraints injection molding did not meet our timeline or budget. We turned to TekRex who was able to 3D print the cases using production-quality engineering resin in 3 days and under budget by 20%.