Omnica adds to its product development tool box with the purchase of a Southwestern Industries CNC lathe. It's a 40" model with a swing of 15". The multiple tool holder holds 8 different cutting tools, and the lathe has an overall accuracy of 0.0001" point to point.
Omnica's version of rapid prototyping differs from that of most other design and engineering firms*.
We do it in-house with CNC (computer and numerically controlled) machinery. We have been using our 4-axis Fadal Vertical Machining Center for quite some time, and five years ago we purchased a Hurco VMC, which does not require G-code to operate.
We are not a machine shop, but with the addition of the Southwestern CNC lathe we now have most of the tools to qualify as such.
The advantages of CNC lathe rapid prototyping to our customers are:
1) The ability to produce short-run production parts using metal and engineering plastics.
2) Multiple tool capability and MasterCAM input are significant time savers which eliminate operator errors.
3) The machine is very accurate
4) Flood coolant allows faster cutting, which equals speedier part production.
* Most companies depend on service bureaus for rapid prototypes. At Omnica, we have all the equipment in-house.