A beginner’s guide to rapid manufacturing

by Thomas Rivera

What is rapid manufacturing, you may ask? it is simply the process of using automatic software and linking manufacturing equipment to produce different parts. In times past, manufacturers found it hard to carry out this process because they couldn’t produce mass items within the shortest possible time. But the rapid manufacturing process has made things easier.

Well, it’s one thing to know what to produce, but it’s another thing to find the right company or team that will do a fantastic job for you. With the right company, you’re going to have a stress-free process. Looking for that company? Look no further. DDprototype is here for you. If you want more information about DDprototype, do well to check them out. They are simply the best.

In what industries is this process used? It’s used in robotics, aerospace, automobile, medicine, electronics, and other industries too numerous to mention

There are different types of rapid manufacturing processes, which include-

  • Additive manufacturing (otherwise known as 3D printing)
  • CNC machining
  • Vacuum casting

Without further ado, let’s take a look at types of rapid manufacturing processes and how they operate. Ready?

Let’s go

Types of rapid manufacturing processes

1. Additive manufacturing

This is also known as 3D printing. This is the most widely used manufacturing process. If you want to produce plastic parts in the shortest possible time, then additive manufacturing is your best bet although it has its limitations.

To start with, the accuracy of 3D printing is questionable. It’s not enough in most cases. For instance, if you consider the tolerance level of Stereolithography (SLA), its ± 0.1mm. If you’re dealing with smaller parts, you can get a wider range but at a higher cost.

Furthermore, SLA printing materials are very limited. You only deal with photosensitive polymers. If you want to use Nylon, it will cost you more.

2. CNC machining

In present times, the CNC machining process is beginning to make waves in industries. Why is it so?

First of all, the materials needed for this process come in the form of bar and blocks, so it’s easy to apply to rapid manufacturing processes. Furthermore, the cost of this process relies on a lot of factors- tolerance, complexity, material, amount of prototype parts needed, surface finish, etc.

The thing is, you have to get the same tools to work on the same type of prototype parts. If you choose different tools, you will spend almost double or triple of your budget. You need so many CNC machining tools of various sizes and axis if you want your job to be perfect.

3. Vacuum casting

Vacuum casting is often employed when 3D printing can’t be applied. If you use specific material and 3D can’t be applied to it, vacuum casting offers a more reliable choice. Note that vacuum casting is known by several names such as silicon molding, RTV molding, polyurethane casting, etc.

How does it work?

First, the CNC machining process creates the mold, then the silicon resin or liquid carbamate is poured on it to create a solidified jelly. When it does this, it is then cut open, and any required resin is injected into this mold to create the prototype.

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