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Rapid Prototyping Overview

Protogenic, A Tenere Company, has been a rapid prototyping service bureau since 1990 and specializes in 3D Printing, Cast Urethane, and Cast Silicone.  Whether you need a quick part to check fit, a painted appearance model for photo shoots, or low volume production parts, we have a process and finish in house to meet your needs. 

It is a quick and seamless transition from prototyping with Protogenic to metal or plastic production parts with Tenere. 


“The parts are high precision, [and] have really tight tolerances.  Frankly they helped us speed up our development in a lot of ways.”


Stereolithography (SLA) - Using a 3D model, our stereolithography machine and its operator mathematically create a series of cross-sections (layers) to guide the path of an ultraviolet laser. The laser then traces each layer across a vat of photo-curable liquid polymer, changing the liquid into a solid.  After each layer, a re-coating and leveling system establishes the thickness of the next layer.  The part is built layer by layer, until a three-dimensional part is formed.

Stereolithography (SLA)

Laser Sintering -Laser Sintering (LS) is a process that uses a laser beam to selectively melt a heated powder.  The build starts off with about .400" of material in the vat.  Once the building of parts has started, a .005" layer of powder is spread across the build platform and the next layer is melted onto the previous layer.   This continues until the build is complete.   The material that is not selectively melted acts as support for the part itself.  This process has the ability to build in X, Y and Z so parts can be stacked on top of each other which allows for more parts to be built in a single run.   When the build is complete the material in the vat needs to cool down.  Once the vat has cooled down, the parts must then be excavated from the block of powder.  They are then cleaned and blasted to remove as much excess powder as possible.  Once this is done the parts are ready to ship.

Laser Sintering

Objet 3D printing is a process where print heads lay down material on a platform layer by layer until a part is created. With each pass from the print heads, material (both support and model) is laid onto the platform or previous layer and cured via UV light, making it one of the fastest options for creating parts.  The support material covers the outside of the part and also supports any overhanging sections on the part.  Once the build is complete, the part is removed from the platform and the support material is cleaned off using mechanical tools and pressurized water.

Connex Dual Durometer Color Printing

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) builds parts by heating material that gets fed through a print head after reaching a semi liquid state.  It builds each part layer by layer adding support material where needed.  Each layer is determined during setup where a program creates a path to build the part.  Once a layer is complete the base moves down so the next layer can be added.  Each layer is added until the program is complete and parts are ready to be removed from the machine.  Support material is removed by breaking away the tiny pieces or placing the part in a water/detergent mix that dissolves the support material.

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

We offer 2 in-house processes to help you achieve one solid, uniform piece with all the complexities you require: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Laser Sintering. Perfect uses for direct manufacturing are production parts that involve complex geometries, fairly low volume, or non-cosmetic parts where absolute dimensional accuracy is not critical to function. Examples include cable routing, wiring harnesses, internal chassis, clips, and connectors.

Urethane Casting

The Cast Urethane process begins by turning your CAD file in to a rigid master pattern, using either a Stereolithography (SLA) or Connex model printed on our equipment. The model is scaled to compensate for any potential shrinkage of the silicone mold, so that your end parts measure as close to nominal as possible.  Your SLA is finished to your specifications, suspended inside a box, then surrounded with silicone rubber.  The silicone is later cut in half, your SLA master is removed, and what remains is your mold, ready for urethanes.

Silicone Casting

RP Process Video


3D printing orders today can often ship tomorrow because of our large fleet of machines. 


Freedom to experiment with multiple iterations of the same part in a short amount of time. 


Proving your design before moving to hard tooling saves you time and money.  

Get In Touch

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Metal Inquiries: 715.247.4242
Plastics Inquiries: 303.252.0212


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