Product Development

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“To infinity and beyond”…if you can dream it, we can make it.

NIU EIGERlab’s Center for Product Development (C4PD) serves the region with commercialization and engineering support services. Manufacturing, art, engineering, urban design…you name it, and we can be of assistance. NIU EIGERlab 3D printing has the technology to transform your thoughts into computer models and, using the latest technology, convert those to physical objects. The C4PD helps you achieve your goals by turning your ideas into products…overnight. New location: 5299 Zenith Parkway, Loves Park, IL 61111.

Our customers include entrepreneurs at the “idea on a napkin” stage —in need of assistance with design and commercialization—or existing businesses that are interested in producing a new product or modernizing an existing product.

What sets the C4PD apart is the fact that we are not just another rapid prototyping (R/P) house with only 3D printing services to offer. NIU EIGERlab is a one stop, comprehensive resource. Every entrepreneur is unique with specific needs and our expertise includes consulting with clients to determine the most appropriate and economical path, from the design and printing stages to the actual manufacturing of their product.

In order to start the process, click here or phone 815.298.0136 to schedule an appointment. We will discuss your goals, your design needs, appropriate rapid prototyping processes and next steps. All rapid prototyping project costs are based on the size of the piece, the length of machine time and the materials you choose. With this process, a working prototype of your product is printed in three dimensions using a variety of materials, including plastic, rubber or metal. Click here to view the Center for Product Development marketing flyer.

The New Evolution of Reverse Engineering at NIU EIGERlab

NIU EIGReverse engineering_without treeERlab’ s Center for Product Development (C4PD) is happy to announce that we are now able to reverse engineer a part and produce a fully functional 3D CAD model with a complete feature tree. Reverse Engineering has been around forever. Manually redrawing the part, optical & laser scanning and rapid prototyping are technologies that have been used to reverse engineer parts. Currently, all parts are designed in 3D using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software. This disconnect has been a major problem. Up until this year, reverse engineering a part and producing a usable 3D CAD model has only been a dream.

NIU EIGERlab is now able to convert existing parts, artwork or heritage restoration items into fully functional 3D CAD models. In partnership with Superior Joining Technologies, Inc. (SJTI); we can now laser scan parts into 3D models and use various software packages to produce fully functional 3D CAD models.

Reverse engineering_with tree

Reliable Machine Co. came to the C4PD to reverse engineer a part for their client, Batesville Caskets. The client did not have drawings of the parts; however, they did have actual parts. As an example, we were able to scan the parts and convert the scanned images it to fully functional 3D CAD models with a feature tree. This allowed Reliable Machine to use the CAD model to design a new die so they could make new parts for their client.

The two photos show the difference of what the industry previously used, which is a scanned image (left photo) and what the C4PD is now able to provide (right photo), a fully functional 3D CAD model with a feature tree. The scanned image (left) is a dumb surface model. This type of file cannot be modified but it can be printed or manufactured. On the left side of this photo, it shows the feature tree with the imported surfaces that the engineer is not able to modify. The CAD model (right photo) shows the feature tree on the left with surfaces, fillets, radiuses, diameters, etc., that an engineer can modify; as if he/she had drawn the entire model themselves. This type of file allows an engineer to make design improvements and print or manufacture the part.

NIU EIGERlab continues to be innovative and on top of the latest technologies to help local businesses and individuals stay ahead of their competition.

Take your project to the next level by contacting Mike Cobert at NIU EIGERlab’ s C4PD. For additional information or quotations; 815.298.0136 or MCobert@nulleigerlab.org.

 

gun“3D Printed Firepower in Men In Black 3”
A well-known R/P example is tied to Hollywood—the third installment of the “Men in Black” movie. A San Francisco based company, Moddler, created prototypes of the futuristic, alien style weapons.

The C4PD offers entrepreneurs assistance with the following:

Engineering
When assisting entrepreneurs, inventors or existing companies, we partner with team-oriented, multidisciplinary, engineering consultants who are guided by years of experience designing and developing new products. At NIU EIGERlab, we can assist you with all phases of engineering your prototype to your satisfaction in a timely manner.

Product Development
If you don’t innovate, you don’t survive. But, determining the best idea and executing it flawlessly demand the extensive resources and expertise of NIU EIGERlab professionals and experts in new product development. We will guide you through the steps necessary to commercialize your product, including the estimated length of time to market and the associated costs.

Reverse Engineering
Reverse engineering is taking apart an object to see how it works in order to duplicate or enhance the object. With NIU EIGERlab’s proficiency in this area, our experts can assist with this process in a timely manner to quickly ascertain and facilitate next steps.

Computer-Aided Design
Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer programs to create two- or three-dimensional (2D or 3D) graphical representations of physical objects. In a timely fashion, our qualified staff will work with entrepreneurs and inventors to move from the “idea on a napkin” stage by creating a CAD file and choosing the most appropriate 3d printing material and process.

Commercialization | Project Management
Commercialization is the process or cycle of introducing a new product or production method into the market. NIU EIGERlab has assisted countless entrepreneurs regarding the directions and decisions affiliated with commercializing a product. Timing, costs and defining your target market are just part of the question that NIU EIGERlab can assist with in the decision-making process.

NIU EIGERlab offers cradle-to-grave project management services to assist in bringing your new ideas to market. Contact us at 815.298.0136 to learn more.

 
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