By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
OK, you probably know the scene. Actually, in some ways I hope that you are living part of it in these days of a struggling to re-awake economy.
Anyway, you’ve got a bunch of really OK engineers cranking out pretty OK designs. (Please note: The engineering manager’s yawning ovation utilized in previous sentence purposefully.) You’ve got a squad of technicians churning out parts and prototypes over two shifts as fast as the CNCs, mills, and your Stratasys FDM additive manufacturing units can run. Still, you need something. Preferably last week. Standard snafu: You need all sorts of somethings last week, and your particular special something just has to wait its turn. Maddening.
That’s pretty much what happened at Joe Gibbs Racing. They needed a new ABS plastic enclosure for heater control components. The one they had worked, but it was hand-crafted and ugly. Now, NASCAR race car sponsors don’t want their logo adorning something ugly. The grubby gin joint with a $50 sponsorship of an old Crown Vic at your local neighborhood demolition derby? Sure. Ugly is a natural. Not NASCAR. Not Coca Cola.
Joe Gibbs Racing has an in-house Fortus 400mc 3D Production System from Stratasys, but it runs flat-out 24/7 cranking out stuff for R&D. Then, somebody hit on the idea of outsourcing the manufacturing to Redeye, the rapid prototyping and direct digital manufacturing arm of Stratasys. And Redeye came through: 30 good-looking , perfect-fit black ABS parts. Only not by deadline. Days ahead of schedule. Really. Each part, by the way, took more than 30 hours to build, required no spiffying up to look good, and took zero hours of work out of busy Joe Gibbs Racing employees to produce. And important prototyping work was not sacrificed for expediency. Good deal.
I liked today’s Check It Out read not just because it is short and sweet but because it comes with a good whack on the side of the head reminder. You can have the staff and the tools. You can have the expertise. But you do not always have the time and open resources to get your must-do job done right away. That “they can do it and do it right” expertise is just one of the many ways that aces like Redeye from Stratasys can collaborate with you to get the job done right.
Hit the link over there and take a couple of minutes learning about how Redeye from Stratasys earned its good reputation. Joe Gibbs Racing is no slouch of an outfit. What and how they talk about Redeye should impress you. Did me.
Thanks, pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering