Firstcut deliver a single prototype part in just a few days

While looking for a means to prototype a handle for a one-arm bandit gaming machine, Richard Löffler came across the Firstcut website and was impressed by what he read. "Finding the Firstcut website, I was surprised that we could have a single prototype part in just a few days."

Gamesman Limited is where companies go when they need bespoke, custom designed buttons, mechanisms and illuminated features for exciting and innovative gaming products found in the world's most prestigious casinos. When Gamesman's customers design new gaming products, they want high quality prototypes fast. Previously, they have relied on contract manufacturers in China to supply parts. But, for one particular project, senior mechanical engineer Richard Löffler looked closer to home and found a better, faster and less expensive way to source parts. When looking for ways to prototype an aluminium handle for a one-arm bandit type gaming machine, he came across the Firstcut website and was impressed. Gamesman's usual manufacturer could only make the part with a minimum order for 100 units. While the unit cost was low, the total cost and shipping time meant sending the design to China was expensive and time-consuming. Mr. Löffler uploaded his CAD model to Firstcut's website and on the same day received on online quote with a manufacturability analysis that would make CNC machining of the part faster and cheaper. "The handle is designed in two halves using Solidworks," he says. "The scalloped, internal shape of each half isn't complicated, but it's not straightforward, either." At this stage of the design process, the customer only wanted to see and feel the shape of the handle in aluminium. "There was no need for the prototype to have all the internal features of the final product, so eliminating internal features eliminated a significant chunk of the work. This wouldn't have been the case if we'd sent the part to China." Since discovering Firstcut, Gamesman have used Proto Labs®' other service, Protomold® to make injection moulded buttons for other prototype and low-volume production gaming machines. "Now that we have discovered what Protomold and Firstcut can do, I'm sure we'll be regular customers," he says.