Category Archives: Manufacturing process

RT Prototyping | Rapid Tooling

An Application of Rapid prototyping is Rapid tooling, this an automatic fabrication of machine tools. Tooling is one of the most costly steps in the manufacturing process.

01-rapid tooling-RT Rapid prototyping-Mold making examples in rapid prototyping

Tools are often complex and need to be wear resistant for production. To meet these requirements, molds and dies are traditionally made by CNC machining, EDM or other methods. All traditional methods are expensive and time consuming; making rapid tooling prototyping the desired alternative. Many believe tooling and design cost may be cut by 50% to 70% by using rapid prototyping.

Rapid tooling is divided in two categories; indirect tooling and direct tooling.

Indirect Tooling

01-indirect tooling-Rapid tooling types

Most rapid tooling today is indirect tooling. Rapid prototyping parts are used as patterns for making molds and dies. These models can be in the following manufacturing processes.

  • Investment Casting

01-investment-casting of parts

Some rapid prototyping can be used as investment casting patterns. Patterns must retain size when heated and not crack during the finishing process.

  • Injection Modeling

01-injection moulding-plastic moulding

A Stereo lithography machine is used to make a match-plate pattern of the desired molding. To form this mold it is plated with metal material such as nickel; then reinforced with ceramic. The two halves are separated to remove the pattern, leaving a perfect model capable to producing thousands of injection models.

  • Sand Casting

01-Green_Sand-casting-the traditionla method of casting cylinder blocks

A rapid prototyping model is used as a pattern which sand mold or “casting” is built. (make the following link) Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) machines can be used for this process. A LOM model can produce nearly 100 sand molds.

  • Vacuum Casting

01-vacuum-casting-process-fundamentals of metal casting process

The oldest and simplest rapid tooling prototyping technique; a pattern is suspended in a vat of liquid silicon. When the material cures, the pattern may be removed. The silicon molds can produce 15 or more patterns.

Direct Tooling

01-direct tooling-types of rapid tooling

To make metal tooling direct from CAD file through rapid prototyping process; is the answer to every production engineers dream.

  • Rapid tool

A process which uses SLS to sinter  poly- coated steel pellets together to produce metal mold.

  • Laser Engineering Net Shaping (LENS) –          

01-laser engineering net shaping-LENS

A process that can create metal tools directly from a CAD file. This process is capable of using multiple materials, stainless steel, HSS, tungsten carbide as well as others. A laser beam melts the top layer of the part in areas where material is to be added until the part is complete. Unlike sintering, LENS does produce a solid metal part since the metal was melted.

  • Direct AIM

01-Direct AIM-investment casting parts-RTV Molding

Another technique provided by 3D Systems of Valencia, Ca. Stereo lithography produced cores are used with traditional metal molds for injection moldings from HDPE, Polystyrene, polypropylene and ABS.

  • LOM Composite

01-laminated object manufacturing-lom_process

A method of using ceramic composite material for Laminated Object Manufacturing.

  • Sand Molding

01-sand molding-shell-mold-casting

A rapid prototyping technique that constructs sand molds directly from a CAD file.

Originally posted 2011-04-10 13:44:42.

Fused Deposition Modeling | An Introduction | A Rapid Prototyping Process | Rapid Prototyping Methodology Types

Rapid Prototyping process starts with the uploading of your STL file for a rapid quote.  This Product Realization will transform your CAD drawings into plastic parts. Parts are built layer by layer in an additive process. Extrusion heads lay down thermoplastics to create each layer.

Watch This Video:

Stratasys FDM-Fused Deposition Modeling-How It Works

01-stratasys FDM-Fused Deposition Modeling-Fortus 400MC Machine

Build Envelope (XYZ):  16 x 14 x 16 inches
Material Options:  ABS, PC-ABS, PC, ULTEM
Layer Thickness Options: .005, .007, or .010 inches
Color Options:  Ivory, Black, White, Tan
Accuracy:  ±.005 inch or ±.0015 inch/inch
Process:  Fused Deposition Modeling



Short Run Production

01-Fused Deposition Modeling advantage-Short run production-multiple rapid parts in single operation

Need multiples?  FDM can build as many parts as you require, in the time that you need them. Cheaper than using injection molding!


01-FDM-Assemblies-assembly will mechanically operate like real thing

Does your design contain moving parts and subassemblies? A Rapid Prototype of your assembly will mechanically operate just like the real thing.

Military-Grade Prototyping

01-FDM-military grade prototyping-max tensile strength 10390 psi-flexural strength 16700 psi-high strength designs and concepts

With a max tensile strength of 10,390 psi and a max flexural strength of 16,700 psi, materials are ready for your military and high strength designs and concepts.


01-FDM-Precision rapid prototyping parts-Max resolution 0.005 inch-small parts of complex geometry can be made

Small parts with complex geometry are no problem for FDM. With a max resolution of .005”, your parts will look as good as your CAD models.

Originally posted 2011-04-10 11:15:48.