Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc. (LCI), a key supplier of components to the RV and specialty trailer industries, recently made significant investments in its research and development systems. According to a press release, these investments will “allow the company to develop parts and engineer solutions faster in order to better serve the ever-changing RV market.”

Specifically, LCI acquired a rapid prototype machine designed to render and produce actual plastic prototype parts from a 3D CAD. In connection with the prototype machine, LCI also acquired CNC and plasma-cutting steel fabrication machines.

“We recognize that our industry moves quickly, and to be successful we have to continue to bring new, quality and innovative products to market in a timely fashion,” said Andy Murray, vice president of RV sales for LCI. “Now we will reduce new project turnaround times, and increase accuracy on first run prototype parts.”

Chris Greer, director of R&D for LCI, added, “With this new technology, parts are rendered in Solid Works CAD software and fed directly into the rapid prototype machine. After only hours of construction, prototype parts are completed. Our new prototype machine has been running non-stop since it was put into production, and is already paying dividends with the speed and accuracy with which we can complete projects.”

This new technology is also of immediate benefit to LCI’s aluminum extrusion facility, as it eliminates waste in the die production process for new extrusion shapes. The new equipment is located in a dedicated, 14,000-square-foot building retrofitted from an existing LCI facility.

“All testing, development and engineering for our specialty products will now be under one roof, creating synergies to benefit our customers,” said Greer.