Copy cast speeds time to market

One of the great benefits of rapid prototyping and tooling technologies, such as stereolithography, is that they have provided companies with the means to satisfy early market demands. Usually this means the production of small batches which have to be made at the same time as mass production injection mould tools for much higher volumes.

Using traditional models, or the models created by the newer rapid prototyping technologies, one company, Rim-Cast, has focused on creating virtually instant copies. The `early-to-market’ mouldings are fully functional, serviceable in the long term and will remain in field use alongside the mass produced volume products.

The company has recently succeeded in making solid rigid tooling in production resins for the purpose of forming wax castings used in the metal investment casting process. In the illustration, a typical rigid tool is shown together with the clone created from a laminated object manufactured (LOM) model used as the starting pattern. Both time and the costs of this resin-wax tooling system were saved compared with conventional aluminium tools. According to the company, very satisfactory waxes and subsequent steel castings resulted from this exercise.

{{Rim-CastTel: Kettering (01536) 510616Enter 404}}