Milwaukee School of Engineering

    3D printing improves products and processes

    MSOE’s Rapid Prototyping Center (RPC) offers very practical solutions for companies interested in implementing advanced manufacturing techniques, and also innovative technology to improve products and processes.

    Within the RPC, more than 60 companies are members of the consortium. Manufacturing companies in automotive, defense, water, medical device and health care industries have trusted the RPC for their expertise and services.

    Membership in the Rapid Prototyping Consortium offers:

    • solutions to custom projects utilizing the leading 3D printing/additive manufacturing technologies
    • networking with engineers, designers, managers and technical professionals in a non-competitive environment
    • leading-edge product development, CAD applications, innovative processes and manufacturing technology
    • access to and development of new tooling techniques, materials and manufacturing methods, and structures
    • work with experienced engineers, researchers and employees who understand the performance expectations of world-class companies

    More than 3D printing
    In order to create an object using 3D printing/additive manufacturing, a CAD drawing or 3D fi le is necessary. When those are not available, the RPC offers 3D scanning to create virtual reproductions. 3D scanning displays the difference between design intent and the dimensional accuracy of fi rst articles. It also offers the opportunity to create interactive digital objects.

    The RPC was involved in the creation of the Milwaukee Public Museum’s newest exhibition: Crossroads of Civilization. RPC staff members completed a life-size scan of a replica of King Tutankhamun riding his chariot drawn by two horses. The purpose of the scan was to create an interactive, virtual display so museum visitors can view close-up details of the exhibit even though they can’t get closer than 19 feet to the real exhibit. The museum used the 3D scans to create an application for visitors to get a closer look at the clothing, jewelry and more. They can even select objects to rotate, offering a 360-degree view of the exhibit while only standing in front of it.

    Founded in 1991, the Rapid Prototyping Center at MSOE is the largest and most successful academic-based facility implementing additive manufacturing technologies in the U.S. The staff has “been there, done that,” and can offer advice. Consortium members have access to all of the leading 3D printing/additive manufacturing technologies.

    In their own words…
    Rapid Prototyping Consortium member profiles:

    UL (Underwriters Laboratories)

    Q: Why did UL join the consortium?
    A: It all started with UL’s goal to partner with the additive manufacturing (AM) industry to advance innovation, safety and quality. The RPC’s unique position within the AM industry combined with their forward-thinking, collaborative approach, diverse membership and accessibility make them a perfect fit for us.

    Q: What impact has it had on your organization?
    A: We realized immediate benefits from our relationship with the RPC. We’ve been able to leverage their expertise and resources to enhance our industry knowledge, sharpen our team and help our customers.
    We collaborated with the RPC in the development of our introductory AM training course – Foundations of 3D Printing (www. The RPC was key in contributing expertise and resources to the production of our Foundations course.

    Q: Before you joined the consortium, how would you have done this?
    A: Trying to identify a level of expertise on par with the RPC would have been extremely challenging!
    Sheku Kamara and his team have a great passion for AM. They go above and beyond to share their knowledge and help RPC members solve their challenges.

    Simin Zhou, vice president,  digital manufacturing technologies, UL

    Capitol Stampings

    Q: Why did Capitol Stampings join the consortium?
    A: We joined the consortium to not only take advantage of the RPC’s technology but also for the benefit of providing learning opportunities to MSOE’s engineering students.

    Q: How has the RPC helped you solve problems?
    A: They have helped us determine how to properly fix a part or assembly to ensure the very best quality, and have been instrumental in assisting us to solve tough manufacturing issues such as improving weld fixtures utilizing rapid prototyping methods. We also use the RPC’s scanning capabilities to help us and our customers understand how their parts are truly designed and measured when traditional CMM type measurements are in question.

    Q: Before you joined the consortium, how would you have done this?
    A: We would not have been able to accomplish any of this. Our involvement with the RPC makes us a better company and brings new technology awareness to our business.

    Gary Wenzel, president, Capitol Stampings Corp.

    Graduate and Professional Education that will work for you.
    Whether we are serving as your gateway to graduate programs or engaging you in a corporate training course, we’ll meet your learning needs with an application-oriented, value-added learning experience.

    MSOE’s Graduate and Professional Education (GPE) Department offers public and customized training, which serves corporate needs for advancing workforce skills. Courses are designed particularly for managers, engineers and other technical professionals. Evening and online master’s degree programs are available
    as well.

    Professional education areas of study include:

    • Managerial and Organizational Improvement
    • Business Systems, Processes and Tools
    • Personal Development for Professional Advancement
    • Global Competency
    • Professional Engineer Re-licensure Seminars

    Graduate programs in:

    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Nursing

    Contact us today to learn more: (800) 321-6763 • •


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