SOURCE: Quickparts

June 17, 2008 09:53 ET

Quickparts Delivers Crittercam Upgrade for National Geographic for a Message of Worldwide Conservation

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - June 17, 2008) - Quickparts (, one of North America's largest providers of custom designed parts, recently produced parts needed to upgrade National Geographic's Crittercam.

Background: The Crittercam is a research tool worn by wild animals, as seen in "March of the Penguins," National Geographic's "Wild Chronicles," and numerous other National Geographic DVDs. It is a compact system which allows scientists to study animal behavior without the interference of a human observer.

Through the use of video and audio recording, along with the collection of critical environmental data such as depth, temperature, velocity and acceleration, the Crittercam combines solid data with gripping imagery. By displaying the animal's point of view to the scientific community, Crittercam delivers a timely message of conservation to worldwide television audiences.

Challenge: The Crittercam team needed a rapid prototype part in order to create a smaller, lighter model that would incorporate the latest technology for both audio and video, resulting in a more robust presentation. They decided that a custom SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) part would serve multiple purposes and allow them total design freedom. The part needed to brace and center the controller board that was already connected to the back plate, and serve as the supporting structure for the camera mounting. They only needed a small quantity of parts, and were hoping for delivery within a week or less.

Solution: National Geographic uploaded their files to the Quickparts website. Within minutes, they were able to quote and purchase their parts so they could have them in hand.

"Quickparts not only delivered on time, but their lead times were unbeatable and so was the pricing -- plus I really appreciate the top notch customer service," said Graham Wilhelm, mechanical engineer. "Those are critical factors when choosing a custom parts provider." He went on to explain, "We had our SLS parts in hand within days. By creating direct digital manufactured parts, we not only saved money by not having to get them tooled but we saved time as well and were able to install them immediately."

The 3D printing process allows National Geographic to continuously improve existing Crittercams while preparing for future versions in a more cost effective manner. Graham goes on to say, "Getting a quick turnaround on quotes and parts isn't the only reason I like to work with Quickparts. I really like the way they work. They are not afraid to call me for clarification or questions about any and every aspect of the design and I welcome that, because I know I'm going to be getting exactly what I need, when I need it. That level of service, that kind of communication makes all the difference in the world."

About Quickparts: Quickparts provides custom manufacturing services for engineers and designers who want to create plastic and metal parts from 3D CAD (computer-aided design) models. With its patented proprietary QuickQuote technology, Quickparts is able to provide product designers with an "instant online quote" for the manufacturing of their custom parts from prototype to production.

Quickparts custom manufacturing services include: Rapid Prototypes (SLA, SLS, FDM, PolyJet), Cast Urethanes, Injection Mold Tooling and Parts, Sheet Metal Parts, and CNC Machined Parts.

For more information about Quickparts, visit or call 877-521-8683.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Art Siegert
    Quickparts - Director of Marketing