• Potomac Photonics
  • April 18, 2018

SME’s Rapid 2018

SME’s Rapid 2018

SME’s RAPID Conference and trade show clearly has its finger on the pulse of additive manufacturing.  In the last few years we’ve seen exponential 3D Printing developments that are driving advanced manufacturing in the Biotech, microfluidics, microelectronics, consumer products and medical fields.  

Hybrid micromachining: 3D Printing and Laser cutting

At Potomac, 3D Printing is an integral tool on our factory floor. By continually expanding our capabilities for solving challenging customer fabrication problems, we can choose the right tool for a specific job.  Whether using laser micromachining, micro CNC machining, laser welding, bonding, or molding, Potomac’s tools and processes provide a depth of expertise unmatched in the industry resulting in innovative approaches.  Our ability to draw from many different technologies, also allows us to come up with creative ways to combine tools for unique processing options since often no one tool can do it all.

3D Printing is a case in point.  While the additive manufacturing process offers novel fabrication capabilities such as the ability to design complex geometries, there are still limitations in creating small feature sizes, speed for production runs and material selection.  Taking advantage of the best features of each technology allows us to dig into the toolbox on our factory floor for the right machine choice.  Often, that is a combination of technologies.  For the 13-micron wide channels in the microfluidic device pictured here, we turn to UV laser micromachining after 3D printing the substrate.  The combination gives us just the right mix of benefits, allowing us to optimize the part’s manufacturing.

3D Printed PDMS Mold

3D Printing is one of the best choices for rapid prototyping, so it is natural that the RAPID conference now focuses heavily on additive manufacturing.  Parts can often be produced overnight, greatly reducing turnaround.  Being a digital fabrication tool, designs can be tested and iteratively modified to create the best product and speed time to market with higher chance of sales success.

Potomac’s work utilizing 3D Printing and other technologies in our advanced manufacturing facility will be featured in a talk at RAPID. The presentation will explain how we have developed hands-on internship programs in collaboration with local schools in order to help foster a pipeline to engaging work in the Factory of the Future utilizing a wide range of manufacturing tools and technologies.   

Other Posts

Potomac Photonics Looks Back On a Year of
Using Advanced Manufacturing to Fight Coronavirus

2020 has been a year when the human spirit rose up in the face of adversity to help save our fellow man during the Coronavirus pandemic.  Frontline nurses and doctors in hospital ER’s and ICU’s worked tirelessly with the sick and dying, long-term healthcare facility workers cared for the elderly and infirmed, food producers and…

  • Potomac Photonics
  • December 28, 2020

Potomac Photonics Designs and Fabricates Innovative Dental Tool to Comply with COVID Protocols.

Potomac scientists and engineers innately see a problem and, especially in this time of Covid, can’t help but jump in to innovate a solution.  Just that happened when Potomac senior research scientist, Natalia Christensen, visited her dentist for an annual check-up.  Explains Jessica Salmon, a 12-year dental hygienist veteran at Gentle Family Dentistry in Dunkirk,…

  • Mike Adelstein
  • November 24, 2020

Potomac Celebrates MfgDay By Exploring Advanced Manufacturing Career Options

Each October manufacturers, led by the National Association of Manufacturers, focus on the career opportunities that manufacturing brings to a wide range of industries.  This year Manufacturing Day is October 2 and while plant tours and other in-person activities are not feasible, we can learn more about jobs at companies like Potomac Photonics. This Isn’t…

  • Potomac Photonics
  • October 2, 2020