Rapidia - Advancing Mobile Additive Manufacturing with IS4S


Published on:

Advancing Mobile Additive Manufacturing with IS4S

Integrated Solutions For Systems (IS4S) includes Rapidia’s fast, simple and deployable 3D metal printing solution in container business line.



Integrated Solutions For Systems (IS4S) has been designing, building and deploying custom solutions for US Military and commercial customers for over 15 years. The company’s niche in this business area is rapid prototyping of customized shipping containers in the pursuit of specialized objectives. Integrating commercial and custom systems and equipment with onboard heavy fuel generators, multi-input power sources, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), and other specialized systems such as inflatable air beam shelters is the norm. These integrated systems result in a very rugged and portable means by which customers can deploy much needed equipment to austere locations in a fragment of the time it would take to establish a permanent entity. The highly customized shelters, typically built and delivered in just 30 to 60 days, are very cost effective and meet the unique needs of a wide variety of customers. 

“The unique 3D metal printing system offered by Rapidia, together with their rapid response and integration flexibility, enabled IS4S to offer its customers a rugged, portable 3D metal printing solution that is often 8 to 12 hours faster at delivering a useable part than with other competing systems.” 

Robert Henderson, IS4S Vice President, Systems Integration


A recent natural extension of IS4S’ customized container business line was to develop a fully functional additive manufacturing (AM) capability that can be moved quickly and without concern that container handling equipment and the international land, air and sea shipping process would not damage the AM equipment. To ensure the utility and benefits of the portable AM system to customers, the incorporation of a complete 3D metal printing system was essential.  


While significant attention must be paid to the particulars of transporting traditional plastics 3D printers in a ruggedized portable container, a 3D metal printing system presented unique challenges of its own. For example, one major concern with metal printers is that they traditionally require three separate machines to produce a hardened metal part: the printer, a wash system, and a sintering furnace. These components are typically too large and require too much power to fit individually inside a standard shipping container. In aggregate, including three large machines almost always requires adding an additional container to the system, which has suboptimal implications (e.g., system cost, transportation cost, additional system footprint, a larger heavy fuel generator, etc.). 

Heat Management

A second design challenge was heat management. To reach the desired hardness of a metal part, sintering furnaces are often required to reach internal temperatures of 1400°C (2550°F) and maintain them for several hours. Because the furnaces are well insulated, outer cabinet temperatures are much lower, but most are hot to the touch, necessitating an additional safety cage around the furnace. Additionally, the elevated temperatures of the furnace necessarily raise the temperature inside a small space. This presents additional challenges of removing the heat and managing the relative humidity. 

While system size, weight, power, footprint, and thermal challenges are all significant, they are somewhat manageable. The foremost problem in the design of this type of rugged all-in-one portable AM capability turned out to be the insulation in the sintering furnace itself. 

 “No 3D metal printer manufacturer would even consider working with us when they learned of our plans to provide a rugged and portable capability. They all stated unequivocally that their furnace insulation was designed to be installed in place and that moving their systems around the globe would certainly crumble the insulation and render their systems useless.” 

Robert Henderson, IS4S Vice President, Systems Integration


IS4S’ search for a reliable 3D metal printer system that could be used in their portable AM system ended when a junior mechanical engineer found Rapidia. Artem Bylinskii, CEO of Rapidia, immediately understood the portability challenge and displayed interest in helping IS4S find a solution. After some initial information exchange, IS4S quickly realized that the Rapidia 3D metal printing system is not only up to the portability task, but that it also meets the space, thermal and power design constraints inherent in integrated container systems. 

As an added bonus, the Rapidia 3D metal printing system requires only two components: the printer and the sintering furnace. No wash system is required. This means not only a lower system cost and less space, but also much less production time. Without the second stage wash requirement, IS4S is able to offer its customers a portable 3D metal printing solution that is often 8 to 12 hours faster at delivering a useable part than with competing systems. 

Working with Rapidia in a very constrained and unique solution space turned out to be the perfect solution to IS4S’ 3D metal printing needs for its customers. Final integration into the unique application under demanding timelines was supported by an onsite visit, provision of expert system performance information and mounting advice, and considerable help with the resolution of last minute issues. Additionally, Rapidia went the extra distance by providing an expert onsite representative for a weeklong trial with the customer. 

“The unprecedented flexibility, willingness to support a risky integration, and Rapidia’s all-in dedication, demonstrated by teaming with IS4S  was exactly what was required to meet the time critical deadlines and operating challenges that  our customer faced.” 

Robert Henderson, IS4S Vice President, Systems Integration


Because of our relationship with Rapidia, we can now confidently offer a rugged and portable 3D metal printing capability that will undoubtedly be a significant portion of IS4S’ AM product line. Their eagerness to work with IS4S on integration, power management, and internal software configuration is an essential factor in the success of their portable 3D AM systems. IS4S will rely on Rapidia capability in future projects requiring 3D metal printing.  

Related Articles

3x Faster Print Speed for Industrial Component

3x Faster Print Speed for Industrial Component

Equispheres' aluminum powder is a leading aluminum powder in the Canada market. In collaboration with Aconity3D, a leading additive manufacturing printer manufacturer, they...

Canada Makes // Special Report from Formnext 2022

Canada Makes // Special Report from Formnext 2022

Canada Makes once again led a Trade Mission to Formnext in Frankfurt Germany, in November 2022! Canada Makes Trade missions are about opening doors, gaining insights,...