Design / Rapid Prototyping (Additive Manufacturing)
From paper to pattern to casting for rapid prototyping.
Early in the metal design process, getting prototypes that approach the finished product can dramatically reduce cost and time to market. Using techniques like stereolithography (SLA) and 3-D printing for metal manufacturing, MetalTek brings capability. MetalTek does this by taking your development design and creating a quick turnaround pattern to produce low volume or development parts.
The design engineers may then use an actual casting for preliminary testing and assembly evaluation. In addition to cost and time advantages, it also allows for the assessment of a component. This would bring a much closer outcome to the final product. Both in the product’s physical properties and manufacturing process used to create it.
An important application of rapid prototyping is in the use of net-shaped centrifugal. This can be very effective when the design calls for complex shapes or hybrid processes. Like MetalTek’s proprietary blending of Centrifugal and Investment casting.
The combined benefits of the detailed features of investment casting include: (1) the product integrity of a centrifugal and (2) the speed and flexibility of SLA's. Having this combined benefit is a powerful product development tool.
Prototyping is a crucial part of the development process because it is necessary for the production of the final product. Additive manufacturing provides an unlimited form of freedom, doesn’t require tooling, and can produce parts that match closely to traditional manufacturing methods.