We are a Denver machine shop that is experienced in working with a wide range of client types — businesses that hail from a diverse group of industries, from automotive, aerospace, and defense, to medical, robotics, and oil & gas.
We specialize in aluminum, magnesium, and zinc cast and CNC machine parts for these industries most commonly, but don’t be alarmed if you aren’t seeing your field listed above — our Denver foundry offers rapid prototype to production castings for many different kinds of applications. So if you have a question about a particular project, our employees would be happy to hear what you have in mind! Almost half of us have engineering degrees, so we love providing feedback in whatever way is most helpful.
In today’s post, we’d like to take the opportunity to reintroduce ourselves at Protocast Inc. Whether you’ve been an avid reader of any and all casting-related content we’ve written over the past months or you happened to be searching for a “machine shop near me” and you made your way to this blog post, we hope that you’ll find this post both educational and interesting! We’ll explain a little bit about ourselves in terms of our history (since we’ve been known to move from location to location since our founding) before we discuss our services and processes. Ultimately, we are all about providing exceptional value to our customers when they come to us for custom metal casting services in Denver.
A Brief History Of Protocast Inc.
Kevin Fortin and Mike Kaiser founded Prototype Casting in 1995, starting out in a humble 2,000 sq. ft. shop just north of Denver. The basis of their work was in speed and 3D printing technology. They used SLAs, urethane, and silicone tooling, all made from the 3D printing process. Said tools were used to make plaster molds in which metal could be poured in order to create a given casting.
In 1998, we moved to a more appropriately sized machine shop in Northglenn, CO, a northern suburb of Denver. Just a couple years later, in 2000, we moved to our most recent location in Denver — a space that occupies a total of 24,000 sq. ft! Fast-forward another eleven years and Mike Kaiser said goodbye to the company he co-founded, leaving it in the trusted hands of longtime employee Chad TeBeest.
Our Trademark – Never Be Satisfied
From our founding until the present day in 2018, we’ve been consistently committed to expanding our horizons with regards to evolving technologies and adding new processes to our suite of services. Below we highlight a few of the most notable additions:
- CNC Machining, 2002 – We do our best to better ourselves as much as we can. One of the most important, and obvious, ways we can do that is by listening to the requests of our customers. So in response to the many requests for complete parts (as opposed to mere castings), we added CNC machining. Larger capacity CNC machines have since replaced the first machine; at this point, we run 10 CNC machines and are able to offer 5-axis operations with the largest bed size being 60” by 120”.
- Sand Casting, 2005 – We added a Tinker Omega continuous sand mixer in 2005, which meant we could bring sand casting into the fold. An ideal complement to the Rubber Plaster Mold process that was our original bread and butter service, san casting now makes up around half of our entire foundry business!
- Investment Casting, 2008 – Protocast Inc.’s investment casting process slightly varies from what most know as traditional investment processes because we never actually create a tool Instead, we produce all castings from a 3D printed pattern — an ideal method for small, low volume, yet complex parts because it is faster and cheaper. At the same time, our customers are thrilled because they still receive an industry standard, fully dense casting — they just get the same high quality casting more quickly and for less money.
- Sand Casting Line Expansion, 2014 – 2015 saw us increase our capability when it came to san casting. Our new, larger continuous sand mixer with dual hopper, automated control, and mechanical reclaim allowed us to expand from low quantity high quality to production quantities — all while maintaining our hallmark high-quality work. We are also proud to relay that this expansion meant we have been able to reduce our footprint for consuming natural resources, with specific regards to silica sand commonly used in sand casting. We are able to reuse 80 percent of the sand in the sand casting process while utilizing secondary markets for reclaimed sand whenever possible. This all has the net effect of virtually eliminating the sending of sand to landfills by yours truly!
- We Moved Again, 2017 – It’s a good thing we keep moving, since it means we keep on expanding our processes and services offered. To this day, we have you covered for any and all of your machine shop and foundry-related needs. When it comes to tool cutting, RPM casting, investment casting, and much more we’ll discuss below, we are capable of delivering our clients timely, affordable, and high-quality results.
Denver Machine Shop Services
As mentioned above, we offer rapid prototype to production castings for a wide range of industries, with a specialty in non-ferrous alloys (an alloy that doesn’t contain iron, like copper, aluminum, nickel, zinc, or brass). Below you’ll find a brief description of our primary services we offer at Protocast Inc. of Denver, Co.
We mentioned it above, and we’ll probably mention it again in future posts — almost half of our employees have engineering degrees. Whether you are looking for some big-picture, basic feedback on machine and casting or you want a specialist to consult you on reverse engineering or finite element analysis, we are confident our engineering department is able to support the project that you have in mind, whether it’s big or small!
It’s often the case that cutting a part from stock is the most cost-effective way to get the job done. We have engineers and operators who will help determine the best course of action for the project you have in mind.
We offer our customers a wealth of experience when it comes to customer defined pressure and leak tests. We can send parts out for x-ray, dye penetrant, tensile test bars, and other ad hoc testing services as need be. However, we are able to perform most dimensional inspection on-site with our in-house CMM.
While our competitors might have turnaround times upwards of a month or two, we can typically get your project done in a matter of weeks. Just another reason to have us be your Denver foundry of choice!
There are times when a part needs to be updated, otherwise it’ll become useless. We are able to either reproduce the part or modify the tooling that exists. Whatever you need, we are knowledgeable, experienced, and creative about coming up with a workable solution!
Call Us Today!
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at your convenience. We’d love to speak with you about our business needs and how we can be a part of the solution!