Our partnership with Carbon 3D is making headlines. The Portland Business Journal hit us with the spotlight in their article, Portland design shop lands rare partnership with 3D printing 'unicorn.' Viewing the article requires a subscription to the PBJ, so pay up! Otherwise allow us to briefly summarize it.

The article highlights our history with 3D printing back to 2003, when as a two-year-old company we became a strong local source for prototyping. It points out our recent designation as the only design partner of Carbon 3D, a Silicon Valley “unicorn” that’s grown quickly since launching the M2 in 2015. It goes into Carbon’s partnership with Adidas to produce the Adidas Futurecraft 4D sneaker.

It then ends by summarizing our phenomenal growth in the last 18 months, when we’ve hired 8 new engineers and doubled our office space. Thanks to the PBJ for paying us a visit and writing a great article!

We recently completed this great 5-axis machining project. The final part was a housing for a prototype turbine helicopter power transmission. Five of these are in the process of construction.

Our customer EPI Inc in Amboy, Washington focuses on engine and gearbox systems and components engineering among other things. He was very pleased with the housings and said they were so gorgeous, his wife wanted one for a table decoration!

Sherpa Design is proud to announce that we are the first Carbon Design Partner. With this partnership, Sherpa Design can serve customers who want to be on the leading edge of moving into end-use production with additive manufacturing technology. Sherpa will work in direct partnership with Carbon to assist customers in all aspects of design for additive.

Carbon's technology added to our full complement of design, engineering and fabrication tools will speed up our already fast product development cycle. We will be able to take ideas from concept to production ready builds all in the same materials and process from start to finish.

Sherpa has built a reputation of superior engineering analysis, rigorous simulation, and artful design. By becoming the first Carbon Design Partner, Sherpa will now be uniquely capable of helping customers take full advantage of using the latest design concepts to create production ready part designs.

New capabilities including mass customization, topology optimization, functional lattices in elastomers and rigid polymers and textures that were once impossible to manufacture at scale all require the use of new software and design skills. Working with Sherpa, you can leverage our experience with these design concepts and software to kick start your companies adoption of these new capabilities.

Using our state of the art 3D printer which utilizes Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP), watch us go from goop to gadget as we produce parts in Flexible Polyurethane. FPU is a semi-rigid material with good impact, abrasion and fatigue resistance. It brings a toughness that lets parts withstand repetitive stresses such as hinging mechanisms and friction fits.

3D part-making requires a precise sequence of actions. For this project, we developed the mechanical design here in-house. After the parts were designed, our 3D printing technician took over, prepping the build layout and readying the FPU resin for the machine. The printing process took about two hours, and after that the parts get a shake-bath to clean off left over resin. The final step is a thermal curing process that yields the mechanical properties of isotropic, injection-molded parts.

Have a 3D printing challenge for us? Take a look at our material options.

The crate itself was pretty impressive with 8+ stainless steel latches and what we thought was an in-built bar for our drinks (turns out it was to help make the ramp.)

But after we unpacked the whole thing, our new 3D printer rolled on out. Next up it's time to make some 3D parts.


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Reach out to us about your project. We're engineers and we love to get into the details!

Reach out to us about your project. We're engineers and we love to get the details!

For fabrication requests, we will need the following details to provide cost estimates for you:

  • 3D CAD model available?
  • Drawing or PMI on model to convey desired feature tolerances available?
  • Desired material, special finishes/coatings, etc?
  • Quantity needed and desired delivery date?

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