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Makers of Complex Components Benefit from Simple Solutions

Originally Published MPMN November 2002

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Makers of Complex Components Benefit from Simple Solutions

Prototyping aids in forming ceramic and metal parts

Intricate ceramic components such as this one can be manufactured quickly and cost-effectively by Cam-Lem Inc.

The manufacture of complex parts doesn't have to be a complex process. A company that designs and produces intricate metal and ceramic components has a unique way of forming parts that couldn't be made by using traditional techniques.

Cam-Lem Inc. (Cleveland) offers a direct-manufacture process ideal for creating small quantities of complex ceramic and metal components in short amounts of time. Parts are crafted from 3-D computer models using ceramic or metal powders. With the help of a temporary plastic binder substance, the materials are easy to form, cut, and merge into complex shapes. They can be converted overnight into solid, leak-free ceramic or metal units by simply removing the binder and consolidating the powder by sintering.

Cam-Lem has developed intricate components for clients, including a metal manifold that contains 4500 channels inside a 75 x 75 x 19-mm block, and a high-temperature flow nozzle created by laser cutting and laminating thin sheets of ceramic tape. "Components that incorporate very small internal features can be made with our methods, without the potential for failures and contamination associated with seals and adhesives," says Brian Mathewson, Cam-Lem's chief operating officer. The company's prototyping capabilities also save clients time and money.

One of the greatest benefits of this prototype manufacturing service is its rapid testing and evaluation cycles that allow companies to obtain feedback on a new design's performance. "In medical applications, it is very difficult to predict how a given design will perform," says Mathewson. "We provide testable, functional ceramic and metal prototypes with mechanical properties virtually equivalent to production devices."

Allowing designers the freedom to create, Cam-Lem touts the flexibility it offers clients. "Our unique fabrication process provides design freedom in developing components that are complex, are difficult to manufacture, or manipulate fluids and gases internally, such as in biomedical sensors or analytical instrumentation," says Mathewson. "We make it possible to invent new kinds of solutions to difficult manufacturing and design problems," he adds.

Elaine Paoloni

Cam-Lem, 1768 E. 25th St., Cleveland, OH 44114; phone: +1 216 3917750; fax: +1 216 5799225; contact: Brian Mathewson; e-mail: [email protected]; www.camlem.com

Copyright ©2002 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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