SLA and Low-Volume Injection Molding and Parts
SuppServe is a boutique package design firm located in northern California that specializes in single-serve dispensing solutions. “Inventors, innovators, marketers and sellers of all things single-serve”, SuppServe is dedicated to simplifying the delivery methods of a variety of common products that are sold in bulk and require single-serve dosing by the customer.
The SuppShot™ is a first-of-its-kind rigid single serve dispensing device for large volumes of powders and liquids capable of adapting to virtually any bottle/drinking device on the market. Designed to provide a unique, convenient, and clean product experience, the SuppShot™ features a spill free design, is price competitive with basic pouches and pillow-packs, and is 100% recyclable unlike the alternatives.
The design for the SuppShot device was quite specialized and included thin sections of plastic. While standard SLA prototypes could provide a good amount of feedback regarding the design, SuppServe would eventually require actual injection molded parts in order to test and approve a design that could be mass manufactured. “The nature of our part design required injection molded parts to test and confirm function,” said Chris Straface, Founder and CEO of SuppServe. “We were attracted to Quickparts’ ability to provide us with both SLA rapid prototypes for basic testing, as well as the quick-turn injection molded parts that we needed.”
SuppServe ordered quick-turn aluminum injection mold tooling from Quickparts, along with an initial run of SLA prototypes of the design. The molded samples off of the tooling sparked a series of separate design revisions, each improving upon the last. The flexible tooling options at Quickparts allowed for several revisions to the existing injection mold tooling, each supported by additional runs of SLA prototypes. “We went through numerous iterations of tooling that provided invaluable insight into our part design,“ said Straface. “The initial concept kept evolving, and we were able to make a number of changes to the tooling in order to make it work exactly like we wanted it to.” The design of the SuppShot is now confirmed and will be available in production quantities beginning January of 2012 through select retailers.
SuppServe was ultimately able to utilize both the rapid prototyping and injection molding capabilities offered at Quickparts in tandem to ensure success. “Quickparts’ rapid prototyping and tooling services helped save us thousands during our lengthy prototyping stage,” said Straface. “Without Quickparts, our part design wouldn’t be as strong as it is today.”
Patrick Hunter is the Vice President and General Manager of the On Demand Parts division of 3D Systems Corporation.