FAQs

Answers to common questions concerning our processes, lead times, and capabilities

Frequently Asked Questions

General | Machining | Tooling | 3D Printing

General FAQs

Why should I select Model Solution for my needs?
Model Solution explores design ideas and visualizes concepts through photorealistic renderings, generating full appearance models that allow you to see your product and to ensure it meets your design criteria. We can simulate how your design will perform in the real world. We can also use CAD to analyze the optimal manufacturing process for your part(s). With more advanced 3D modeling tools, we can examine your data for potential assembly and manufacturing problems early in the process. We can quickly modify a part’s internal and/or external structure to ensure the ideal look, feel, function and build. Via our Innovation Lab, you can examine the distinct colors, materials and finishes that we develop for your metal, plastic or soft-goods product. Model Solution can even start the process from your paper prints.
 
What process should I use to make my parts?
Once you have designed your part, Model Solution can quickly and reliably generate a test part with our CNC machining or 3D printing capabilities. For example, after you have been able to see and feel your part, Model Solution can take the next step and build tooling for injection molding of your higher-volume production parts. Depending on your design, Model Solution engineers will consult with you on the optimum process for production that supports the highest quality and lowest cost solution.
 
If you only need a few parts for test purposes or to create fixtures for testing or assembly, then CNC machining is still the best way to produce them. Model Solution’s modern, 5-axis CNC machining speeds up the manufacturing process and increases the accuracy of highly complex geometries while meeting tight tolerance demands, producing your parts within 1 to 3 days. Also, our automated machines allow us to eliminate the upfront charges typically associated with making first-time parts.
 
However, when you need a larger volume of parts for testing, or you are ready to begin production, injection molding is the better choice. Model Solution offers precision tooling, ranging from prototype to pre-production to production tooling, allowing quality parts to be delivered into your hands quickly. Our mission is a 7-day turnaround time from DFM approval to your first parts. Model Solution offers runs ranging as small as 100 parts up to short-runs and engineer-grade production runs of more than 100,000 parts.
 
Who are some of your customers?
We are unable to disclose our customer list because of non-disclosure agreements. However, some of our customers allow us to share their testimonials and case studies. You may read more about them here
 
What industries do you serve?
Since 1993, Model Solution has been serving a wide range of industries including aerospace, automotive, consumer, medical, industrial, lighting, electronics and more.
 
Where are your facilities located?
Model Solution has locations in Seoul, South Korea and Milpitas, CA, United States. Our Innovation Lab, located in South Korea, is dedicated to advancements in developing materials for rapid prototyping and modeling, bringing our customers’ designs to life with real working models, using engineered plastics, metal alloys, glass, Corian, wood, carbon fiber, leather, fabric and more.
 
What type of equipment do you have?
Model Solution has a total of 67 high-speed CNC machines, including several five-axis CNC machines, a variety of molding equipment (including injection molding, vertical-type insert molding and compressing molding machines), 3D printing equipment (including stereolithography, FDM and Polyjet printing machines), and additional equipment for machining, finishing and metrology. See equipment list
 
How can I request a quote?
Model Solution’s Fast Track Program gets your RFQ on the way FAST. Every page on the Model Solution site has a Request a Quote button that links you right to the form. We require that you first create an account on our website.
 
How do I submit my design to you?
Model Solution can work with either paper prints or CAD models to generate your parts. The preferred data formats are Step (.stp), Pro/E (.prt), UG Parasolid (.x_t or .x_b), IGES (.igs), and Adobe Illustrator (.ai) files. We use AutoCAD, UG and Pro-Engineer software. Once you have an account, you can upload your files directly to your secure, personal project library where our team members can access them.
 
Can you generate a 3D model of my specific pattern if I only have an image?
Yes, through our Mock-Up services, Model Solution is able to generate a 3D model of your design by using Artcam software.
 
Are you able to do secondary processes and assembly on my parts?
Yes, Model Solution is able to provide manual assembly of your parts for low-volume prototyping or production quantities if required. Our skilled operators and engineers assemble parts with the care and attention to detail your product deserves, to help bring product to market faster. Model Solution can provide mechanical sub-assembly of your parts (heat staking threaded inserts, ultrasonic welding, gluing, etc.). That’s one way Model Solution does more.
 
Are you able to do inspection of my parts?
Model Solution is able to provide both First Article Inspection (FAI) and Critical to Factor (CTF) inspection services. We make precise measurements on your prototype parts, using our tactile and optical coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), both in-process and post-process. By checking dimensions during the manufacturing process, we are able to save time, material and money by making changes before a mistake is made. This improves productivity and quality in both the prototypes and the finished products.
 
What kinds of quality management services do you offer?
There is no advantage to quick delivery of a prototype if it does not meet your quality expectations and requirements. Model Solution does not cut corners to provide fast turnaround, so you can be sure the parts you receive will meet the standards you anticipate. We follow stringent quality practices in accordance with international standards, and our team maintains complete documentation for traceability. Detailed monitoring processes comply with GMP guidelines, and state-of-the-art equipment allows us to test for conformities of all finished products.
 

Machining

When would Model Solution use CNC machining for my parts?
Our rapid CNC milling and turning capabilities enable us to produce the finest and most accurate visual models, fully functioning engineering prototypes or master patterns. Machining is used to fabricate relatively low-volume part quantities. Typically, CNC machining would be used to produce between one and several dozen parts, with a turnaround time of 1 to 3 days.
 
What makes the machining process at Model Solution so special?
Model Solution’s engineers, machine operators and modern, five-axis CNC machine speeds up the process and increases the accuracy of highly complex geometries while meeting tight tolerance demands. Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software enables a faster manufacturing process via advanced programming of the CNC machines and end-mills to produce products with more precise dimensions and material consistency. Programs currently in use include UG-NX, Cimatron and Mastercam.
 
How much does it cost to have Model Solution machine my parts?
Once Model Solution has a 3D CAD model of your part, we are able to quickly generate a quote for producing from one to several dozen parts. Prices vary depending on part size, material finish, quantity etc.
 
Does Model Solution have in-stock materials that you can use for my job?
We work with materials including ABS, clear acrylic, nylon, polycarbonate, glass-filled PC, Ultem, PEEK (polyetheretherketone), polypropylene, HDPE (high-density polyethylene), acetyl, polyurethane rubber, aluminum, stainless steel, magnesium, titanium, Gorilla glass and more. View a complete list of current materials we work with regularly. Available finishes include chrome plating, anodizing, powder coating, E-coating, NCVM (non-conductive coatings), blackening, brushing, bead-blasting, spun texturing, laser & chemical etching, diamond cutting, silk screening, direct digital printing (simulating IMR). Sometimes, in order to feel a product’s weight and heft before moving into production, Model Solution works common glass into machined flat glass, which is then heat-treated, UV coated and AF coated. This glass can be machined to make 2.5D glass parts with rounded edges. Vacumm metalized thin film can be laminated on back of glass to simulate metallic look.
 
What range of part sizes can Model Solution produce?
Machine bed sizes up to 2,400 x 1000 x 550 mm are readily available for processing larger parts.
 
When is it better to have my parts produced by machining rather than 3D printing?
Additive manufacturing processes such as 3D printing have some inherent disadvantages over machining processes, due to the nature of the build process, which results in a rougher surface finish. Parts are made from liquid or powder starting materials, not a solid block. Since machining a part is a subtractive process, you finish with the same solid material you started with, resulting in a part with the same material properties. Model Solution’s quick turnaround time for CNC machining is competitive with 3D printing and available when it is the preferred process.
 

Tooling for Injection Molding

 
When would Model Solution use injection molding for my parts?
Once the quantity of parts needed reaches a critical limit, it typically makes more sense financially to produce parts using injection molding. Model Solution is able to quickly develop precision prototype, pre-production and production tooling. Prototype tooling generates a limited number of parts for testing purposes, with low tooling costs that permit fast, easy design changes if fit problems or other issues are identified. A 5 to 7 day turnaround time is typical, and quantities ranging from 1,000 parts (with an aluminum mold) to 50,000 parts (with a steel mold) are possible. Pre-production tooling allows the manufacture of production runs of durable, workable, functional prototypes for marketing purposes, allowing you to introduce your idea to customers for feedback and design improvement. A turnaround time of 10 to 15 days is typical for this tooling. Production tooling is generated once you have worked out the finer points of your design. Pre-hardened steel-based auto-ejection molds with multi cavities and cooling channels are designed to optimize cycle time through proper thermal management, with a turnaround time of 20 to 30 days.
 
What makes the injection molding process at Model Solution so special?
Our capabilities include injection molding, overmolding, vertical-type insert molding, thin-wall injection molding and compression molding for small to medium-sized parts. With two-shot injection molding, Model Solution can provide you with the real feel of your product, with soft-touch grips, multi-colored buttons, drop protection and more, while saving time and money due to fewer steps in the production process. Additional injection molding services include master batching, in-mold labeling, thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) molding, painting, coating (PVD/NCVM), plating, printing (pad/silk screen/inking/graving), and laser marking. If clean room manufacturing is required, Model Solution offers injection molding, assembly and packaging capabilities in an ISO 13485:2003 Class 100K clean room, guaranteeing a particulate-free process in a temperature and humidity controlled environment.
 
Can Model Solution help me choose the best resin for my parts?
The part design and application dictate the types of materials that you should consider, depending on the material properties (impact strength, ductility, tensile strength) and cost. Certain designs will require different molding techniques, which also dictate material choice. Our engineers at Model Solution are always available to discuss material options with you.
 
What happens if my tooling wears out before I expect it to?
Model Solution will replace your tooling at no additional cost if it wears out for any reason other than physical damage (for example, it was dropped).
 
Does Model Solution have in-stock materials that you can use for my job?
Model Solution offers injection molding for most polymers, silicone, TPU, and rubber materials, and compression molding of silicone, liquid silicone rubber, BNR and EPDM in various colors. We can offer compression molding of keymats in a variety of materials and colors, including silicone, Film-on-Plastic and plastic hard top. View a list of available materials
 
What range of part sizes can Model Solution produce?
The largest parts produced in Model Solution’s molds so far are 60 x 260 x 380 mm using 450t molded press.
 
What are the advantages of an injected molded part versus a part made by 3D printing?
Additive manufacturing processes such as 3D printing have some inherent disadvantages over injection molding, due to the nature of the build process, which results in a rougher surface finish. If used from the beginning, the injection molding process can help identify and resolve any strength or reliability issues before production begins.
 

3D Printing

NEW SERVICE COMING IN 2017
What types of 3D printing does Model Solution provide?
Our 3D printing services combine the convenience and speed of cloud-based additive manufacturing with the precision and accuracy of our experienced operators. We can produce both medium- and high-resolution prototypes and working parts with stereolithography (SLA), fused deposition modeling (FDM) as well as PolyJet. These services bring the fine details of your design to reality without the time-consuming steps of painting and assembly. These services bring the fine details of your design to reality without the time-consuming steps of painting and assembly.
 
What is stereolithography?
Stereolithography (SLA) is an additive manufacturing process that creates a 3D object by building the part from bottom to top, one layer at a time, by photopolymerization. A liquid photo-sensitive polymer that hardens when it is struck by an ultraviolet laser beam forms the part, as the laser is driven by a computer program that defines the part design. After each layer is formed, the bed is lowered so that a new layer of liquid covers the part. Supporting structures, often needed to include features such as overhangs, are removed at the end of the build process. SLA is a fast process that can produce functional parts with an exceptional surface finish within a day. Depending on the part size, multiple parts can be made during a single build session.
 
What is fused deposition modeling?
Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is an additive manufacturing process in which material, in the form of a metal wire (or a plastic filament), is melted, extruded through a very fine nozzle, and placed in thin layers to form a 3D object. The deposition nozzle is driven by a computer program that defines the part design. The part is built from the bottom up, one layer at a time. Multiple materials may be used during the process, with one being the part material and a second being support material for design features such as overhangs; this support material is removed after the build is complete. FDM produces 3D-printed parts quickly with exceptional accuracy.
 
What is PolyJet?
PolyJet is an additive manufacturing process in which droplets of photosensitive liquid polymer are squirted (“jetted”) from a computer-driven nozzle to build parts, layer by layer, from the bottom up. Ultraviolet light cures the polymer immediately after deposition. PolyJet deposits liquid material in microscopically thin layers, allowing for extremely detailed parts to be built quickly and accurately, with exceptionally smooth surfaces. Multiple materials can be used during a single build cycle, to provide support material or to introduce additional colors or materials into the part. Depending on the part size, multiple parts can be made during a single build session.
 
How much does it cost to have Model Solution produce my parts by 3D printing?
Once Model Solution has a 3D CAD model of your part, we are able to generate a quote for producing from one to several dozen parts. Prices vary depending on part size, process and material selected.