Hord Rapidtools also provide rapid prototyping service to custmer if the quantity is just 10 or less. Like 3D Printing and Urethane Casting.
3D printing is a way to build real objects (prototype) from digital files. The printer converts a software blueprint into slices and deposits layer after layer of plastic, metal etc.until the finished product is formed. When initial prototype required, 3D printing is fastest and economy way.
Urethane Casting is a manufacturing process that creates multiple components in a silicone mold and can complete products faster than hard tool molding. It is an effective way to bridge the gap from prototype to small volume production. Generally 15 shots can be up from one silicone tooling. Lead time is 5-10 days.
For 3D Printing & Urethane Casting, there is some material limited. Not too much strong engineering material available, so generally it just be used for initial design review.