Category Archives: Home

Enter our Rafflecopter giveaway to win one of three great prizes!

Enter our Rafflecopter giveaway to win one of three great prizes courtesy of the talented designers on

Winners will be selected on 9/15/15 and notified by email.

Participants must be 18 years old, and reside in the continental US.

Enter our Rafflecopter Giveaway!

IMG_0688 IMG_0697 IMG_0699

You can find the files to build your own at:
T-800 Redux:
Mythical Cat:
Devils Skull:


Met-L-Flo Kids – The Homework Advantage

Talk about a simple homework assignment where dad takes over!

Brian McNamara’s son recently had a science project due – this is what “he” turned in!

How often do you see a 4th grader bring in a to scale model of NASA’s Mars Rover?

This part was produced on our SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) machine. SLS is a 3D printing process using powder based nylon material. One of the biggest benefits to SLS is the ability to build fully assembled complex parts such as The Rover.


The Casting Process

Have you ever had a project where an SLA part wouldn’t fit the bill, but you weren’t sure which direction to turn next? There are many prototyping options available beyond plastic SLAs. If you need more than one of the same part, the casting process can be an excellent alternative. Met-L-Flo casts prototype pieces in urethane, rubber and silicone. This option is offered if you need a short run for testing parts, mock fit up, marketing strategies, product development, tradeshow pieces for exploration at your booth, or even as giveaways. This process is particularly beneficial for larger quantities, typically resulting in a per part cost savings.

Example: The management team will be reviewing a new design, and you want each of the ten team members to have a prototype in their hands.

This process begins with printing the 3D data, typically in an SLA to produce a master pattern. That pattern is then molded in silicone to produce a tool that will be used to cast the desired number of parts. There are a wide variety of casting materials available to fit your project needs. The material can be run in soft durometers, or harder durometers to simulate ABS, HIPS, or Rubber. We can also create a plastic tool to produce silicone parts. These parts have options after they are cast as well. We can texturize them or paint them to give them a production look. They can be made paint ready for you to paint. If inserts are required, we can install the inserts or make sure everything is cleaned up for you to install them. Imagine, a finished part to give to your management team that they can touch, feel, and evaluate hands on.

One of our customers graciously gave us the green light to share photos of their casting project with you. This client needed something flexible to fit over their phone. After reviewing the geometry we recommended a rubber urethane. We were given the order to proceed. We made several in a soft rubber then sent them out for evaluation. After reviewing, the customer wanted something that was a bit more rigid. One of the benefits of using this process is the mold can be used with several different materials. Therefore we were able to change material durometers and meet their new expectation without needing new tooling.

Give us a call to hear about casting options that will work for you!Combo

Real World Applications of 3D Printing

As one would expect—day in and day out—use of equipment takes its toll. Preventative maintenance programs are a must, but at the end of the day… sometimes things just break.

Recently, our liquid honing machine, started acting up. A honing machine looks a lot like a sand blast cabinet, but works through a combination of air pressure and water solution pressure. Great for plastics, this action is gentle and works well to clean up rough edges and leaves a nice consistent finish surface appearance.

Unfortunately, our honer was not functioning properly. At first we believed the air pressure was the culprit. However, after disassembly of the inbound air line, it was determined that the foot activated electrical solenoid which allows air passage was bad. The rubber diaphragm inside the solenoid had deteriorated from age. We got on the horn with the honer’s manufacturer in search of the solenoid. They located a solenoid for us and overnighted the piece. We received and immediately installed the part. The results were better, but still not 100%.

We moved to the water pressure side of the equation. The inbound water is supplied via a regular hook-up similar to that on your washing machine. However, that water is constantly regurgitated in the bottom hopper to ensure water and cutting media are mixed. The process is driven by an electric motor and a mechanical water pump. The inconsistent “surface appearance” of our parts lead us to believe the water pump was not performing its job. After disconnecting the water, air and electric, we began to disassemble the water pump. In short order, we identified the pump impeller had broken off the main shaft. Back on the horn with the manufacturer. The new complication became a 2 to 3 month wait for the new impeller—not an option. The honer is used several hours daily. One of the things I believe we do well at Met-L-Flo is find internal solutions. We decided to build our own impeller! Why not… it’s made out of plastic. With some estimated measurements and a little CAD magic, we were able to reverse engineer the part. Once we had the CAD, we were ready to build. We decided to build the part in our FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) machine for strength and durability.

While the part was being built, we cleaned up the pump body and chased all threads to insure an easy re-assembly with all new stainless steel hardware. Reassembly is now done and it’s time to test….

The results are excellent!

We can once again provide our customers with the quality parts that we are committed to deliver…Honing group