The manufacturing businesses all over the world have been affected by COVID-19. How do you think 3D Printing & rapid prototyping technologies help manufacturers in the current situation?
Manufacturing has been adversely affected world over, primarily because it is connected to non-essential products. 3D Printing technology has helped to rapidly prototype new designs and offer solutions for countering the COVID-19 situation – they have been used as a bridge supply method till the development of final tooling for mass manufacturing.
Can you highlight the current trends in 3D Printing & rapid prototyping? How rapidly can the company create a working prototype for a client and what techniques make this possible?
3D Printing and prototyping technologies have evolved over the years and are currently in the fourth generation, in my opinion. We began using these technologies and offering services in 1999. Using the available technology and depending on size/complexity, prototyping for products can be completed within 24 hours to seven days. However, the product development timeline has got compressed from six months in the earlier days to as low as four to six weeks today.
Do you think the manufacturing industry is evolving towards better industrial designs? What do you think are some of the myths surrounding it?
Because of the availability of prototyping techniques, it is becoming possible to iterate more on designs till they are perfected. That is why we are for sure getting better industrial designs in place than before. However, a design cannot get aesthetically better just because it can be prototyped and improved. Functionality of a product has improved, but aesthetics purely depend on the sensibilities of the designer. There are further thoughts in the minds of people that ‘any prototyping technique is suitable for all needs’. It needs to be understood that 3D Printing consists of several different technologies using different processes and materials and they cater to different needs of the industry.
Do you plan on working in any collaborative teams? Can you tell us about the projects coming up from your company?
We are collaborating with our customers and supporting the development of electric vehicles, medical devices, IoT devices and home appliances. We are extensively working towards getting out our own products for industrial safety & higher level medical devices.
How has Marco Polo Products evolved over the years?
Our company began operations 20 years ago, trying to offer prototyping services using the latest technologies available at that time. Around seven years ago, we moved further up the value chain and took up making of soft tools and injection moulding to be able to provide functional prototypes in production intent material. We have gradually developed experience & expertise in precision injection moulding and a robust customer base in Europe and the USA.