Professional Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) and Rapid Prototyping Service

AFTAN ENGINEERING
839 Alleghenyville Road Mohnton, PA 19540-7708
Tel. 610-914-1356 email: lpeterson@aftan.com
Aftan Sustainability, ISO 14001, and Lean Six Sigma Continuous Process Improvement Consulting
Berks County Professional Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) and Rapid Prototyping Service

Additive Manufacturing, or 3D Printing, is an outstanding choice for making

  • one-of-a-kind parts for custom jobs;
  • small volumes of parts; and
  • lastly, prototype parts.

The process uses a digital file to create the desired object, printing it one thin layer at a time.

A major benefit of 3D Printing is rapid turn-around times that, depending on the size of the part, can be as little as hours until ready for pickup.

Read this page to discover how you can get the highest quality, professional 3D Printing services at rates you can afford.

Additive Manufacturing (3d Printing)What Is Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing, and Rapid Prototype Development?

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is the industry name for 3D Printing and it's the opposite of conventional Subtractive Manufacturing.

Subtractive Manufacturing starts with block of material that is then reduced by machining, drilling, or cutting to create the finished 3D object.

In contrast, Additive Manufacturing starts with nothing. Precisely-shaped, geometric 3D objects are built by adding and fusing successive, thin layers of material using a 3D Printer guided by digital data communicated to the printer via a digital CAD (Computer Aided Design) file.

Additive Manufacturing saves significant time and money compared to Subtractive Manufacturing in producing prototypes. That's because AM eliminates costly set-up requirements and tooling designs required by Subtractive Processes. By comparison, Additive Manufacturing results in the almost instant transformation from a CAD design to a physical part. Therefore, Additive Manufacturing is also commonly referred to as Rapid Prototype Development.

Advances in 3D Printers and materials make it possible to create functional, end-use products as well as prototypes and models.

Additive Manufacturing includes several 3D Print methodologies. We use Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) because it

  • is easier to use, fast, and reliable;
  • is cost effective because materials are less expensive;
  • extremely adaptable for producing a broad range of complex parts with precise characteristics because there's a wide range of available materials as well as the ability to simultaneously print using multiple materials;
  • allows creating parts and models in a variety of colors; and
  • lastly, requires less post processing than other technologies.

Additive Manufacturing 3D Printing ServicesUses for Our 3D Printing Service

We can produce 3D Prints of virtually any geometric shape with a build volume up to 330 x 240 x 300 mm (13 x 9.4 x 11.8 inches) for the following purposes.

One-Of-A-Kind 3D PartsOne-Of-A-Kind Parts for Custom Jobs

One-Of-A-Kind 3D Printed PartsMany times a custom part is needed to solve a very specific problem. In the past, you might have bought something close and then machined the roughly-right part to meet your exact needs. Or you might have bought a block of material and used a CNC to machine the piece to the desired dimensions. With 3D Printing, we can provide you with the finished part.

Small Volume 3D PartsSmall Volume Parts

Small Volume 3D Printed PartsAs companies develop jigs and fixtures to streamline their operations or to ensure high-quality production, small volumes of these manufacturing assist parts are needed. Buying a custom mold to make a few pieces is not cost effective. Machining each piece is also not cost effective. The set up costs can dominate the whole project. But 3D Printing offers a fantastic solution for small volumes of parts needed from time to time.

3D Printed ModelsArchitectural Models, Promotional Items, and Educational Purposes

Educational 3D Printed PartArchitectural models or design models are very helpful for presentations about alternative solutions. Customers and managers can better understand and visualize choices. In cases where the finished project is very large, the 3D model is a great way to show the important details in miniature. For part design, the models can be used by the various departments to support the manufacturing, packaging, purchasing and marketing departments as they do their work.

FDM 3D Printing ServiceExceeding Your Expectations from a 3D Printing Services Provider

Aftan Engineering's 3D Printing Service is led by Lisa Peterson, Ph.D., PE, MBA, who has decades of engineering and manufacturing experience. Therefore, you'll be talking with someone who understands you and better able to achieve your goals. And there is more because Lisa can help you

  • decide which material is best;
  • source materials and setup the processes for large-scale production of your parts after the Rapid Prototyping stage of product development is completed; and
  • lastly, if you desire, incorporate Life Cycle Thinking and ISO 14001 considerations into your production processes.

3D Printing Filament MaterialsTypes of Filament Materials Used in FDM 3D Printing

  • PLA (Polylactic acid) – High dimensional accuracy, quality surface finish, great for detailed and functional prototypes, good for large parts.
  • ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) – Excellent impact resistance and stiffness, able to withstand a wide range of temperatures, great for functional prototypes and complex end-use parts.
  • Nylon (polyamide grade based on PA6/66) – Great for parts needing to withstand mechanical stress and impact, abrasion resistant, low friction coefficient, corrosion resistant to alkalis and organic chemicals, reduced humidity absorption.
  • PC (Polycarbonate) – Great for tough, strong and dimensionally stable parts subjected to temperatures as high as 110 C
  • PETG/CPE (Polyethylene terephthalate glycol modified/Co-polyester) – Great for chemical resistance, toughness, impact strength, and reliable dimensional stability.
  • TPE/TPU
    (Thermoplastic elastomer/polyurethane) – Great for rubber-like flexibility and high elasticity with durability, wear and tear resistance, abrasion and shock resistance, and chemical resistance.
  • Carbon Fiber – Great for parts requiring superior stiffness.
  • Glass Reinforced – Great for parts requiring superior impact resistance and tensile strength.
  • And more… Capable of printing in other standard and engineered materials as specified by the customer.
The best material for your prototype or part depends upon the required characteristics including;
  • Visual Quality;
  • Heat Resistance (Heat Deflection) and Thermal Expansion - suitability for high temperature applications;
  • Tensile Strength - resistance to breaking under tension;
  • Creep - tendency of a material to deform slowly over time under stress.
  • Impact Resistance - ability to absorb shock without breaking.
  • Elastic Modulus - resistance to elastic deformation under stress.
  • Flectural Strength - ability to bend without breaking.
  • Elongation (Brittleness)- the material's ability to bend and stretch without breaking or cracking.
While one material may be superior in a particular characteristic, the challenge is to find the material that best satisfies the total set of functional goals.

CAD Files for 3D PrintersCAD File Types to Import and Streamline the 3D Printing Process

.stl
.obj
.step
.stp
.iges
.3ds
.wrl
Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing, and Rapid Prototyping Expert Lisa Peterson
Photograph by Wally Hines Photography

Your 3D Printing or Rapid Prototype Development project will be led by Lisa Peterson, Ph.D., PE, MBA and President of Pennsylvania-based Aftan Engineering. Lisa is a uniquely qualified professional Sustainability, ISO 14001, Continuous Process Improvement, and Additive Manufacturing Consultant with a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification, 30 years' engineering experience, and has held high-level management positions. Read Lisa's Resume.

Lisa Peterson's Linked IN Profile
5 5 / 5 Stars ...success where others fail.
"Lisa can find solutions to problems in many ways. She knows her resources to help her accomplish tasks in a timely manner. Obstacles are not an issue and are deemed part of the solution process. Rather than let these get in the way, Lisa leverages them to find multiple solutions to the problem.

From this thought process, an approach of having backup plans is key to the success of the problem. This technique has allowed her success where others fail.

Lisa has instilled in me values and techniques by leading by example. Her drive and resolve are hard to keep up with. She is a role model for others to follow.

Lisa's ethics are second to none often putting in more work and time than her peers. She knows hard work is the key to success.
"

Sinking Spring, PA 04/14/19