Wikipedia does a good job of defining Rapid Prototyping (RP):”Rapid prototyping takes virtual designs from computer aided design (CAD) or animation modeling software, transforms them into thin, virtual, horizontal cross-sections and then creates each cross-section in physical space, one after the next until the model is finished. It is a ‘what you see is what you get’ process where the virtual model and the physical model correspond almost identically.
With additive fabrication, the machine reads in data from a CAD drawing and lays down successive layers of liquid, powder, or sheet material, and in this way builds up the model from a series of cross sections. These layers, which correspond to the virtual cross section from the CAD model, are joined together or fused automatically to create the final shape. The primary advantage to additive fabrication is its ability to create almost any shape or geometric feature.”
There are a large number of bureaus that provide these services. In one respect, the “automation” of model building has created many similarities between the service providers. All of the equipment is essentially the same; just at a different location. The processes available are the same: SLA, SLS, FDM, DDM, 3DP, EBM and more. The file format directing the equipment is the same: STL files. So what sets a company apart from the others? The answer is: the staff. Are they knowledgeable? Are they reliable? Are they cooperative? Are they available to answer questions about your project that’s mid-stream? Have they asked you what the needs are or did you get an on-line quote with no input other than an algorithm? Is there a high level of dedication to your project? Is there a person to get the job done? With Anza, the answer is simple: “Yes.” We provide value well beyond the building of your STL file.
Anza has been providing all types of RP for many years. In addition to our in-house equipment, we have taken the time to evaluate service providers and have secured affiliations with selected partner bureaus. This allows us to take advantage of every RP process that’s available not just the processes that are captive.