May 22 & 23, 2024
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How Rapid Prototyping Accelerates Custom Fastener Jobs

A typical lead-time for the development and production of a new or custom fastener is 18 weeks. But rapid prototyping approaches can cut this time in half (usually 8 weeks) for many of its popular items, says Stanley Engineered Fasteners. This allows OEM engineers to prove a design before going to full production — saving time and costs associated with a production run of new, untested fasteners.

What is Fastener Rapid Prototyping?

It’s a cost-effective means of quickly testing production-quality samples, enabling real-world decisions to be made before beginning mass production. Stefan Schneider, Director, Global Product Line Management-Automotive/Blind Fastening at Stanley, says the company’s extraordinarily broad product portfolio means it has many items that may be a relatively close match to the desired end fastening products, so it is able to perform the first functional builds within a few days.

"These preliminary tests often result in only minor, i.e. quickly feasible adjustments to the fastener," says Schneider. "We stock blanks in a wide variety of styles and sizes that can be customized.”

Stanley also the ability to design fully customized fasteners just in case a project ends up needing something more precise, says Angus Seewraj, Director of Engineering at Stanley Fastening.

“Specially sourced metals are machined and processed to provide prototype parts with placing characteristics almost identical to the final mass-produced fasteners,” says Seewraj. “We have a network of specialist external machining and processing sources who deliver the prototype parts to Stanley direct from our CAD files.” The process can include coatings and other elements.

“We can also provide additional fastener features such as under-head sealing beads or washers for enhanced leak resistance, alternative coatings for better corrosion resistance, painting and other surface finishes for color-matching, or special head marking for specific identification purposes,” says Seewraj.