3ERP blog and resources

Welcome to 3ERP's blog

We share information, tips and things we've learned from our years in the rapid prototyping and manufacturing industry.

CNC Milling: Everything You Need to Know featured image
Thursday May 19, 2022

CNC milling is one of the most impressive technological advances of this century. Although most people are more familiar with 3D printing as a way to produce precise physical prints, CNC milling has been around for longer and is still widely used today. From its wide range of applications in the electronics industry to its […]

Understanding die casting featured image
Sunday April 3, 2022

From engine blocks to door handles, die casting is a fast, accurate, and repeatable metal production technique suitable for large or small parts. Die casting parts have an excellent surface finish, and the process is compatible with a range of non-ferrous metals. Because of the high startup costs associated with die casting, the process is […]

Polyurethane casting design tips featured image
Wednesday March 2, 2022

3ERP’s polyurethane casting service lets you make small batches of plastic parts at a much lower cost than injection molding. These high-quality prototypes have a great surface finish and can provide a pathway to mass produced molded parts. Many product designers are, however, unfamiliar with polyurethane casting, which requires a unique set of design considerations […]

Why 2D drawing are important when ordering parts from a manufacturer featured image
Tuesday February 15, 2022

Digital 3D files have changed the way engineers work with manufacturers. Engineers can now design a part using CAD software, send the digital file to a manufacturer, and have the manufacturer make the part directly from the file using digital manufacturing techniques like CNC machining. But although digital files have made manufacturing faster and simpler, […]

What is ‘machinability’ and how is it measured? featured image
Saturday January 22, 2022

The manufacturing process of machining is a versatile and effective means of cutting metal and plastic. It can create very fine details with tight tolerances, and it is highly cost-effective for making prototypes and small batches of parts. However, machining doesn’t work equally well for all materials. Because the process uses a powerful rotating cutting […]

Sinker EDM vs wire EDM: Main differences and applications featured image
Friday January 14, 2022

Electrical discharge machining (EDM) is a non-conventional subtractive manufacturing process that excels at cutting through very hard materials. Unlike ordinary machining, EDM can cut through metals without making contact. It does this by creating an electrical spark that erodes material from the metal workpiece. EDM isn’t suitable for all applications, but it is an essential […]

3D printing composite materials: An introductory guide featured image
Tuesday December 28, 2021

Additive manufacturing can be used with a wide range of materials, from high-performance thermoplastics like PEEK to aerospace-ready metals like titanium. Sometimes, however, engineers want to combine the properties of two different materials, and one of the best ways to do this is by using composites. Used in processes like FDM and SLS (as well […]

Vertical milling & horizontal milling explained featured image
Tuesday December 14, 2021

Milling is a machining process in which rotary cutters remove material from a workpiece. It is one of the most important forms of machining, along with turning. Milling can be carried out manually, but these days CNC mills — controlled by computer instructions — are prominent. Importantly, CNC mills can be oriented in two ways: […]

Die casting materials & when to use them featured image
Wednesday December 8, 2021

Die casting is a highly accurate and efficient metal manufacturing process for industrial, commercial, and consumer goods. With tooling that lasts a very long time, die casting is suitable for the manufacturing of complex metal parts, offering great value when it comes to mass production. Several metals can make suitable die casting materials. These are […]

12 plastic fabrication methods & when they are used featured image
Friday November 26, 2021

Plastic fabrication is essential to most industries. From polystyrene food packaging to industrial components made from engineering-grade PEEK, plastic fabrication contributes hugely to life as we know it. Without the ability to make plastic parts, we would need to develop radically new systems of production. But plastic fabrication comprises many different methods. Injection molding, plastic […]