A few months ago, we enjoyed the opportunity to talk to Gordon Styles, President and Founder of Star Prototype. An early adopter of additive manufacturing, the rapid prototyping company was using 3D printing since its launch back in 2005. While not exclusively focused on additive manufacturing, the company has used the technology heavily in its manufacturing services, which also include CNC machining, injection molding and other fabrication methods. Star’s services are diverse and only getting broader, which is why the company has decided that it’s time for a name change.
The former Star Prototype has announced that it is now Star Rapid, as its focus has expanded from just rapid prototyping to all low-volume manufacturing services. According to the company, it has been steadily growing over the last eleven years to encompass much more than its original 3D printing/rapid prototyping focus, and its new name reflects that – particularly because, says Styles, their focus is on rapid service, regardless of what that service is.
“…We found that the word prototype in our name had a tendency to advertise ourselves as solely a prototyping company, when in fact that’s not the case,” he explains. “We do make quality rapid prototypes, of course, and will continue to do so. But that’s an increasingly smaller percentage of our business. Now more than ever, we provide customers with low-volume manufacturing services and batch production. Many of our customers choose to produce smaller quantities because of the range of benefits to be had and so as a result our company has evolved to fulfill that growing need.
Everything we do is rapid, from providing quotes to prototyping new ideas to production of parts and delivery. We felt it was time for our name to accurately reflect who we are now and where we want to go. And rapid is very much part of our core company mission, more than ever before. We want to provide high quality parts, rapidly.”
In addition to the rebranding, Star Rapid is expanding its 60,000-square-foot facility space and investing $2.5 million into new equipment including CNC machining centers, plastic injection molding machines, Electric Discharge Machining (EDM) machines, and new high-tech inspection and testing equipment, such as metals and plastics spectrometers. Such equipment ensures the conformance of both raw materials and finished products and adds to Star’s already strict quality assurance program. Over the next five years, the company plans to expand by an additional 30 percent.
In the midst of the expansion and rebranding, the heart and mission of the organization remain the same, and thus Styles made sure to keep the most important part of the company’s name: Star.
“Star Rapid represents the next-generation of manufacturing where precision meets passion,” he says. “The initial founding more than a decade ago, and the recent rebrand to Star Rapid, were partly inspired by principles found within the world of Star Trek. As a company, we embrace high technology to enhance the expertise and experience of our staff, and we strive to operate as a meritocracy. We know that with the right tools and a dedicated team, we can challenge the status quo.”
Discuss in the Star Rapid forum at 3DPB.com.
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