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  • Your Lightweight 3-D Displays: From a Drawing to Reality

    Posted on August 12th, 2011 admin No comments

    Are you getting hammered by shipping costs to get your industrial sized displays to trade shows and back? Is the weight, pun intended, of moving your displays becoming tiresome? CalCo has an alternative solution for you and how you display your products; and it’s easier than you may think…

    It all starts with a CAD(computer aided drawing) file of your product. Once we are provided with this file we can scale it down to your liking and produce a light weight 3D model for you to tell the story of your new innovating and/or always reliable product. Models are created out of a very durable ABS plastic using a Fuel Deposition Modeling method, know as FDM.

    Shown below are two pump models that we recently created for a client.

    3-D Pump Model 2Vertical Pump Model

    All of the individual part files are printed separately and then built into an assembly using very little glue and mostly scale-version fasteners. You can see some of the parts were printed in color to highlight specific components and areas of the pump to describe features to potential users. These two units normally weigh hundreds of pounds each and can now be brought to a show in carry-on luggage!!

    To get started, simply email CalCo your 3D files for a quick and helpful quotation or to discuss the opportunities that are possible today.

    For more information call CalCo at 847/639-3858.   Click Here for an article with information about other lightweight options or click here for more contact information.

  • Frequently Asked Questions about CalCo Cutaways

    Posted on September 29th, 2010 admin No comments

    How much do CalCo’s services cost?

    Each project is different and is priced according to man hours involved, materials for bases, shipping containers or electrical parts, and outside services like plating.  We provide quotes based upon our estimates of time and material to do each job.

    How long does it take?

    A good rule of thumb is to plan ahead. Some projects can be turned around in a week or two, and some can be 90 days, depending upon the project. When production levels are high, lead times are longer, and it is always a good idea to get a no obligation quote in advance.  Our average turnaround time is 4-6 weeks but it is entirely dependent on our schedule at the time that your project arrives.   If necessary and if physically possible, we will adjust our schedule to meet yours and once we commit to a delivery date, you can count on it.

    What do you need from me to provide a quote for my cutaway project?

    The best and most effective way is to send the part with a description of the work you want done.   If your product or part is very large, transportation can be difficult, so typically we like to have a dimensional drawing along with weights and the primary materials of the product (carbon steel, stainless, aluminum, etc.)   A photo of the product is always helpful as well, along with a description of the areas you are looking to feature.  With this information we can provide an accurate estimate, which can be confirmed upon receipt of the actual product.

    How do I specify where to cut on my product?

    Generally, you will receive the best cutaways if you tell us what features you want to show and leave the specific cutting designs to our skilled technicians. They have the knowledge and experience to show and retain components in such a way as to show what you want in the best and least expensive way. We strive to show as much as possible in one view with as simple a cut as possible.

    If I can do all or some of the work in-house, shouldn’t I?

    There are three ways of looking at this question:
    Financially: Because we specialize in making cutaways and displays, we are pretty darn good (and efficient) at it. Therefore, it generally takes our experts less time to do a cutaway so we are almost always less expensive than full or even incremental in-house costs.

    Quality Control: We provide all cutting, clearancing, finishing and final fitting, plus basemounts and shipping containers. All these services must be coordinated, anticipating the needs of the others. At Calco you get a one stop shop that will handle all of these needs for you. We have the tools necessary to do the job right and the expertise and knowledge to make it look great.

    Resources: Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that it is the best use of your resources (time and talent). Most companies are continuously assessing what they should and can do well, and then outsourcing the rest.

    What else can CalCo do for me besides cutaways?

    • Working Models
    • Custom Stands and Basemounts
    • Lighting
    • Custom Fit Cases
    • Custom Fit Permanent Shipping Containers
    • Animation and Electronic Media
    • Professional Photography
    • 3-D Printing, Scale Models and Prototypes
    • Point of Purchase Displays and Signage
    • Custom Sales Awards and Corporate Gifts
    • Web Enabled Training and Training Programs
    • Metal Plating
    • If you don’t see what you need, just ask!

    Our Promise:

    Highest Quality, Great Value and Guaranteed On-Time Delivery.  We want our customers to be satisfied and we will do everything within our power to meet this goal!

    If you have any other questions that you would like CalCo to answer please contact us by email at or by clicking the envelope in the top left corner of this window.  For more information visit our website at or click here for contact information.

  • CalCo: Your Turn-Key Solution for Product Displays

    Posted on May 25th, 2010 admin No comments


    CalCo likes a challenge! We have been in the business of solving our customers problems for almost 60 years.

    CalCo started in 1953 as a cutaway shop taking products and cutting away a portion to show the internal parts since they can be a valuable selling tool.  We have come a long way over the years by adapting to customer needs and changes in product displays.  In that time, we have become a turn-key solution for our customers by adding new services.  Did you know there is a place you can go to get all of your product display needs performed at the same time?

    In addition to cutaways,  CalCo provides :

    • Working Models with or without a cutaway
    • Product Displays
    • Sales and Training Aids
    • Lighting
    • Custom Basemounts
    • Custom Shipping Containers
    • Acrylic covers  and Displays
    • Point-of-Puchase Displays
    • Custom Cases
    • Scale Models and Rapid Prototyping
    • Three Dimensional Printing
    • Animation
    • Sales Awards
    • Corporate Gifts
    • Plating
    • Training Programs
    • Professional Photography
    • Waterjet Cutting

    CalCo can solve your trade show or product display problems with just one phone call!  A typical project now involves creating a cutaway, attaching a brushed aluminum base or custom rolling basemount, building a custom shipping container and a shooting a professional photography session before the project is completed and shipped back to the customer ready to go directly to a trade show or presentation.

    If you need help with your trade show, sales or training needs, call CalCo at 847/639-3858 or click here for our contact page and let us make your idea a reality!

  • Looking for 3D Prototyping? Our Experts make it Fast and Easy

    Posted on February 19th, 2010 admin No comments


    Do you need a small part created, or a complete prototype?  CalCo can create your design in a variety of materials so that you can create, manipulate and test your new designs quickly to speed up the development process.

    Whether it is a small piece made from SLS Nylon or a large 3-D model in full color,  CalCo can help you get exactly what you need to make your 3D prototyping project exactly the way you want it.   At CalCo, “Your Product is Our Profession” so we spend the extra time to make sure you get what you want the first time so you can quickly make adjustments and move your project to the next step. To contact CalCo click here for information or call 847/638-3858.

  • 2009: The Year in Review

    Posted on January 15th, 2010 admin No comments

    As is typical at the end of the year CalCo is reflecting on the past twelve months. There were some unique and creative product displays, cutaways, 3-D models and POP displays created this year.  A few of them are included below for your enjoyment:



    dezurik crop colorTrerice2 copyIMG_0351


    And finally, some believe that 2009 was a year down the toilet, although that was not the case at CalCo we still spent some time with one….


    CalCo looks forward to another interesting year!

    To contact CalCo call 847/639-3858 or click here for our contact page.

  • The Buck Stops Here

    Posted on November 20th, 2009 admin No comments

    Publication1Your company uses a variety of vendors for certain products or services every day, making make life easier for everyone. So do we.

    Your company probably uses a few providers that actually make life more difficult for you or your coworkers. Same here.

    On Monday one of our primary vendors emailed to let us know that our project with them was complete. . .Great.

    This was typical and expected. . .

    However, the details on getting the order back to us were left out, forcing us to stop what we were doing, contact them about it and make these arrangements ourselves. Done.

    Once the items were received, we found quality issues on practically every piece that was delivered. Where was the quality control??

    We would have sent the entire order back to be redone from scratch, except that we needed these pieces for a larger project that our client was expecting on time. We had to stop what we were doing (again) and fix every mistake and flaw to bring this project back up to our high standard of quality, (which our client expects).

    Everything worked out in the end, our client was thrilled with the final result and his coworkers were equally impressed with the craftsmanship and attention to detail, (and the shipping was arranged without our client’s involvement whatsoever).

    So the extra effort on our end resulted in a great experience for our client. We love that.

    The vendor’s actions, on the other hand, had to be managed, monitored and corrected.   Is this the case with some of your providers?

    Communication and responsibility are the landmarks of a company you can trust for the long term. The reason companies like CalCo have been around for over half a century, is because they are trusted, respected and are the go-to guys when quality and professionalism are important.

    Did you know that CalCo can handle your POP displays, your screen printing, your photography, your display storage, your prototyping, your sales cases, your website design, your 3D animation, your metal finishing, your large format printing, your digital image manipulation, and many of the other items you struggle with every day?  It’s true.

    Please call 847-639-3858 or email to see if your project can be handled correctly this time by CalCo, let us handle the problems so you can just sleep easy for once.

  • Rapid Prototyping at CalCo Controls in Crystal Lake, Illinois

    Posted on June 30th, 2009 admin No comments


    Need a prototype model fast?  Send us your 3-D file and we can create a full color model for you in no time.

    Using a 3-D printer with 24-bit color capability and using a  high performance composite to create very thin layers and bond them together we are able to create a three dimensional replica of your design with a quick turnaround time.  These prototypes can be used for concept models, design testing, presentation models, sales demonstrations, architectural models, tradeshow or exhibits, marketing and much more.

    We take your idea and put it in your hands NOW.  It is always easier to hold an item, look at it and see how it functions in real life instead of just on paper.   Your prototype is made from a lightweight plaster composite and is an exact replica of your design.    We can accommodate one piece  designs up to  10″ x 14″ x 8″.  For larger designs we can build a scale model or in some cases we can make it in pieces and then join them together.

    If you have questions about a rapid prototyping project just call us at 847/639-3858 or e-mail us at and we will be happy to help! Click here for further contact information.

    CalCo is located in Crystal Lake, Illinois but we work with companies and individuals all over North America and the world.


  • CalCo Cutaways, Generations of Dependable Innovation

    Posted on April 17th, 2009 admin No comments


    Around the time New York City was introducing their brand new, 3-color traffic lights, James Calhoun was founding a new business named CalCo, which would produce cutaways for product manufacturers in order to help them show off the many advantages to using their products.

    Little did he know that his small business would grow into the most accomplished and experienced cutaway company in America, possibly even the world.

    Even Jim himself couldn’t have foreseen the wide variety of offerings his company would eventually have to present to its customers, such as laser cut lighted display pedestals, 3D animation, custom training equipment, POP displays and much, much more.

    In fact, CalCo’s unrelenting attention to detail and quality as well as their ability to create customized solutions on the spot is about all that hasn’t changed since 1953.

    CalCo’s excellent reputation and insight into the needs of their clients will go a long way towards making the next half century of business just as revolutionary as the first.

    To contact CalCo click here or call 847/639-3858.  Your Product is Our Profession.