Southern Rods and Customs - From Prototyping to End Stage Production

Southern Rods and Customs - From Prototyping to End Stage Production

Southern Rod and Custom design, build and test automotive restorations and modifications. With the motto “Exceed expectations and push the limit of technology “, their 3000m2 factory is fully equipped to handle all fabrication work from small patch panels to entire bodies and chassis development; and Chassis built to any stage from the ground up!

CEO Mr Rowe explains that when they bought the printer they thought it would be used occasionally, but instead they are printing 10-15 hours a day and it is now an intrinsic part of their production process. "It has become a part of the business we rely on daily"

What did you do prior to 3D Printing? How do the technologies compare?

Prior to buying the Raise 3D Printer Southern Rod and Customs would machine (CNC) or handcraft prototype parts. "Making parts by hand will never quite be exactly the same, but 3D Printing is supplying us professional repeatability." says Shane Rowe

"We also used to have to send parts off for manufacturing via another company, which could take two to three weeks to come back and cost up to $3000. Now we can 3D Print in a few hours at a cost of two to three dollars. In some jobs this can add up to a project saving of $30,000. It is a real win for us and the customer" explained Mr Rowe.

For Southern Rod and Customs the biggest benefit of 3D Printing is the time saving within the prototype stage. By reducing the need to hand craft pieces, staff are freed up and can be more productive. "We can let the machine do the work for us"

How did you come to choose the Raise 3D Printer?

"We chose the Raise 3D Pro 3D Printer because of its Australian support. This was important, we needed to know we had someone local to call if things went wrong, or for help along the way" Mr Rowe explained.

"Straight out of the box, the Raise 3D Printer has not stopped printing."

What were the biggest challenges in adopting 3D Printing?

Southern Rods already had CAD capability, this made the transition to 3D Printing a smoother one. The biggest challenges were related to understanding the technology, how the 3D Printer would behave, and what was possible.

At first they only did a few prototypes, but as familiarity grew Southern Rods quickly realised they could manufacture end stage products as well.

This is often the case with 3D Printing adoption, the intended purpose for the initial purchase is rapidly expanded as more and more possibilities reveal themselves.

What does the Future hold?

Mr Rowe is looking forward to the future with his Raise 3D Printer. They are embarking on 3D Printing Nylon dyes to do sheet metal impressions; which he estimates will take 10 hours off the production process. They plan on expanding what they 3D Print to start making end stage parts like one off dash knobs; and exploring electroplating and hydro dipping to generate professional finish parts.


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