case study hero

Design Through Engineering


Since using Protolabs services for the first time approximately two years ago, Cambridgeshire-based Origin Product Design, a consultancy serving clients in a range of industrial and commercial market sectors, has according to Origin's Richard Lintern, developed a "technical partnership" with the rapid injection moulding specialist.

Origin Product Design

"We use Protolabs for the company's expertise and efficiency," he says, "in fact, we'd have no hesitation in recommending Protolabs to anyone seeking a rapid manufacturing solution."

Formed in 1995, Origin Product Design has developed a successful business providing design solutions for, says Lintern, "working products that exhibit a degree of mechanical functionality". The company's service can include complete project management from initial idea and concept through to design, prototyping, tooling and production, including a full development service that encompasses extensive analytical tools such as finite element analysis (FEA).

"Product design is the consideration of aesthetics, ergonomics, performance manufacture and assembly," Lintern continues. "We design by engineering, focusing on all these aspects to achive successful solutions for our customers."

In recent months, Protolabs has worked with Origin Product Design on a range of challenging products, including a suite of 10 tools for a well-known UK-based medical firm. The client was, claims Lintern, "exceptionally pleased" with the end result.

Approximately 50% of the company's business is generated by the medical/pharmaceutical industry, the rest comes from other sectors that include fast-turnaround orders (10 days or less) for a telecommunications specialist, compression wheels for an industrial juicing company, fire equipment housing for the marine sector and various packaging items for customers in the aviation industry.

"We've used other rapid toolmaking and prototyping companies in the past but to be honest, 5-6 weeks would be the best lead-time we could expect," explains Mr Lintern. "Not only is Protolabsd able to offer a faster service, but they can do so without compromising quality. Furthermore, they're very willing to assist and help solve technical problems. This was evident from the outset."

The first time Origin used Protolabs' services was on an innovative pharmaceutical product that entailed the use of a 0.2mm milling-cutter in order to generate a specific medical form. "Protolabs demonstrated a determination to help us to succeed and to deliver parts correct-to-drawing. We were very impressed."

"Not only is Protolabs able to offer a faster service, but they can do so without compromising quality."
Origin Product Design

Origin's core business is the design and development of technology-based products, specialising in the integration of mechanics, electronics and technologies with industrial design and ergonomics to achieve customers' specifications and create successful products.

Recent designs include products such as drug delivery devices, medical diagnostic and monitoring systems, computer peripherals, domestic appliances and children's toys, to name a few.

"With the aid of Protolabs on a number of these projects and many others we are ensuring high quality, reliable and cost effective solutions for all of our customers," concludes Mr Lintern.