Establishing a manufacturing process is an important investment, and it’s our mission to help you reduce costs and save vital time during the development stage. By working with the Additive at Scale team, you will achieve sales quicker with affordable tools, produce finished parts while high-volume tools are being manufactured, and improve the manufacturing processes altogether.
Rapid tooling is when prototyping techniques and conventional tooling practices are used together to produce a mold quickly. In other words, we 3D print the stuff that makes the stuff. This gives you more freedom to make design adjustments and test out new ideas.
We use new approaches to quickly produce master patterns and molds directly from the 3D CAD data which helps accelerate go-to-market strategies and reduce cost associated with scaling production.
Rapid tooling can be used for silicone molding, compression molding, injection molding, thermoforming, composite molding, casting, and sheet metal forming. If you need a rapid tool, we can produce it in terms of days, not weeks.
POLYURETHANE AND SILICONE CASTING
Polyurethanes are the most widely used type of casting resins and are used in applications ranging from miniatures and figurines to rapid prototypes, through to end-use components like skateboard wheels and engine mounts.
Typically, the casting process involves injecting polyurethane and additive resins into a mold, similar to the injection molding process but tooling is less expensive, and thermosets can be used a room temperature.
Our team can 3D print master patterns to build silicone molds or 3D print hard tools to deliver high quality, short-run parts as an economical alternative to low-volume injection molding.
INJECTION MOLDING INSERTS
Plastic injection molding is the process of melting plastic pellets and are injected at pressure into a mould cavity, which fills and solidifies to product the final product. Injection molds are expensive, require long lead times, but are great for high volume and lowering part cost.
We have experienced professionals who know how to design for additive manufacturing and injection molding. We bridge the gap between low volume and high volume production by 3D printing mold inserts or cores and cavities and injection mold select parts as fast as 10 days.
The requirement can be driven by a number of issues, for example: the production intent material and or color is a must have, the quantity of parts makes 3D printing uneconomical, a trial batch is required ahead of production release, the design is not sufficiently stable to allow for production tooling, or parts need manufacturing while production tooling is being built.
JIGS AND FIXTURES
A jig’s purpose is to provide repeatability, accuracy, and interchangeability in the manufacturing of products. Fixtures are used for supporting and locating a workpiece. These are commonly used in subtractive manufacturing process and can be produced quickly based off of CAD data for complex geometries that need machining or finishing.
In electronic manufacturing and assembly, electrostatic discharge (ESD) safe materials are ideal, and AM offers the ability to fit robots with grippers and customized end effectors, build alignment trays and holding fixtures for assembly lines, or covers and caps to protect PCB contact points.
There are many other applications that require jigs or fixturing and because of the speed, strength, and agility of printers manufacturers can uniquely solve problem to increase productivity and create efficiencies.