Ian Gibson: In response to your request for RP Tooling discussion pertaining
to an upcoming Internet Convention at
We've launched sixteen Indirect RP Process (RP Tooled) parts to date.
Eight of nine RP Tooled wax injection molds for investment castings produced
ferrous and nonferrous alloy parts to print. One mold required reworking of
the complex cores due to unannounced non-bilateral tolerances on critical
Four of four RP Tooled miniature blow molds produced acceptable parts in
high volume manufacture.
One RP Tooled plastic injection mold to date has produced acceptable
production parts in a glass-filled polymer. A second plastic injection mold
for a more complex new part has been cast and is being fit-up for trials. A
third and two cavity mold is now being cast.
A first RP Tooled zinc diecasting mold in H13 augmented with heat transfer
material that might provide shorter cycle time and longer life is being
designed and will be built in the next few weeks for comparison runs.
We are often asked for ball park estimates for prototype precision cast
parts under eight inches from a 3D CAD solid model .stl or .igs file.
Direct Process RP castings are typically $750 first piece and $250 or less
for a few more pieces in nonferrous alloys, in one week. Add $300 and three
weeks for ferrous castings.
Indirect Process (RP Tooled) RP castings are typically $750/RP Tool and
$30/piece for the first 100 pcs (minimum order) and $15/piece or less
thereafter for nonferrious alloy parts, in four weeks to a dozen pieces with
100 pieces/week to follow. Add $250/Tool and $5/piece and two weeks for
ferrous alloy parts.
Of course, production parts from slightly more expensive hard tooling take a
few weeks longer, but cost significantly less per piece, and have more crisp
features and tighter dimensions.
We are pleased to report some success to date with our "Prototype the Tool,
Not the Part" philosophy.
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
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