November 29th, 2017
Different Materials Used for Rapid Prototyping Services
Different parts and components are made as samples through prototyping services. Rather than go directly into mass production only to discover some type of serious defect or flaw, reputable rapid prototyping services assist design engineers in efficiently perfecting their designs in advance of production. By using a rapid prototyping service, time, money, and effort are saved by both the company and the end-user. Rapid prototyping ensures a superior-quality finished product.
One thing that makes rapid prototyping services unique is in certain cases, no tooling or machining is required to create 3-D models. Instead, innovative technology allows the object to be formed additively by printing one layer of material after another until the product forms completely replicating its electronic design. In certain cases, this can be the fastest alternative in creating a design replica.
This type of 3-D prototyping is extremely flexible to the designer. In fact, there are no real restrictions when working with complex designs. By using rapid prototyping services, product designers and engineers have the ability to produce detailed 3-D models very quickly to any design they can dream up, and with the latest technology, very good accuracy. For all prototype companies, speed and accuracy are very critical.
Materials Used with Rapid Prototyping
Depending on the finished part, component, or model required by the customer, prototyping companies use a variety of materials. For example, in the metal cast area, 3-D prototypes can be constructed from a special prototyping wax. Various methods of prototype casting are used with these patterns. Vacuum plaster and low-temperature furnace methods are commonly paired with prototyping wax patterns in the prototype metal field.
Rapid prototyping services also fabricate many parts in plastics. This is especially valuable because of the great prevalence of thermoplastic materials in product design now days; used in everything from automobiles to all sorts of industrial, medical, and consumer products. The reason is that thermoplastic components can be designed to complex shapes, molded in color, and often are capable of resisting both heat and chemicals. In many cases these must be durable parts that require extensive functional testing. Plastic products can also be chemically, thermally, or vibration welded. They can also be machined, and typically provide excellent surface finish. Because of these outstanding features, plastic products are omnipresent in design usage. Correspondingly, prototype suppliers are challenged to offer products to match and represent the materials used as closely as possible. New prototype materials are being developed constantly which better and better match end production material specifications. ABS, acrylic, polyphenylsulfone, polycarbonate, and nylon are just a few that are commonly used, which offer outstanding functionality, durability, and strength.