PROTO TECHNOLOGIES IN LIBERTY LAKE LIKES TO CALL ITSELF
THE "RAPID PROTOTYPING SPECIALISTS".
IF YOU NEED A PROTOTYPE MADE IN A HURRY... IT'S THE
COMPANY TO CALL. AND IT'S THE ONLY ONE LIKE IT IN
THE SPOKANE AREA. DEREK DEIS HAS THE STORY IN "MADE
IN THE NORTHWEST."
IF YOU NEED A PART MADE QUICKLY... BUT AREN'T READY
FOR MASS PRODUCTION... THERE'S REALLY ONLY ONE COMPANY
TO CALL . PROTO TECHNOLOGIES IN LIBERTY LAKE IS A
RAPID PROTOTYPING SERVICE BUREAU.
so when customers come to us with an idea to create
their product, we can make that one off for them and/or
start going into low volume production."
AND RAPID IS THE KEY WORD. WHILE OTHER COMPANIES
MIGHT TAKE SEVERAL WEEKS TO CREATE A PROTOTYPE...
PROTO TECHNOLOGIES' 50 EMPLOYEES PRIDE THEMSELVES
ON GETTING IT DONE MUCH QUICKER... SOMETIMES IN LESS
THAN 24 HOURS.
"there are times customers call us at eight o'clock
in the morning, have a file ready to go and have it
shipped that day. and we can do that."
THE COMPANY SAYS IT CAN MAKE ANYTHING THAT'S A PLASTIC,
METAL OR SILICONE. AND IT'S DONE WORK FOR ALL KINDS
"aerospace, medical, electronics. and we can say
we worked with microsoft when they were doing the
first x-box hand control unit. so that was fun."
MOST OF THE PARTS MADE HERE START ON ONE OF THREE
RAPID PROTOTYPING MACHINES. THE "CONNEX 500" BUILDS
WITH MULTIPLE MATERIALS ALL AT ONCE.
THE STEREOLITHOGRAPHY MACHINE IS USED FOR MANY OF
ITS BIGGER PARTS.
"that builds with a laser also that cures that liquid
resin and solidifies it as it touches it."
AND THE FUSED DEPOSITION MODELING MACHINE BUILDS IN
TRUE MATERIALS... LIKE NYLON OR A-B-S PLASTICS.
"that is a filament, in a sense, that lays down material
and cures it as it's laying down to get a true plastic
THOSE PARTS THEN HEAD TO THE FINISHING SHOP FOR PROCESSES
LIKE HAND SANDING. MANY ARE PRIMED FOR PAINTING AS
CREATING MASTERS FOR MOLDS IS ANOTHER LARGE PART OF
THE OPERATION. MATERIALS ARE MIXED TOGETHER AND POURED
INTO THE SILICONE MOLD IN THE CASTING DEPARTMENT.
"that's where it sets up and, in a sense, cures the
PROTO TECHNOLOGIES ALSO HAS A FULL MACHINE SHOP THAT
WORKS WITH VARIETY OF PLASTICS AND METALS.
you might say this fifth
axis mill here at proto technologies
is the star of the machining shop. it's able to do
very complex pieces like this propellor in a very
short amount of time."
"instead of having maybe eight set ups for a part,
we've cut it down to three to two. and again, overall,
that's a huge time saving."
AND THE COMPANY JUST RECENTLY ADDED THERMAL FORMING
TO ITS LIST OF SERVICES.
thermal forming takes a sheet of plastic and heats
it up and, in a sense, forms it right over that mold.
and it happens very quickly. within seconds, you'll
have a part done."
IT'S RAPID... JUST LIKE EVERYTHING PROTO TECHNOLOGIES
DOES... AND THE GROWTH IT EXPECTS TO SEE IN THE FUTURE.
FOR MADE IN THE NORTHWEST... I'M DEREK DEIS... KXLY