The point of the processes is that parts whose geometry is
identical with and material quality is similar to the original
product can be produced quickly at a low cost. The prototype is
suitable for demonstration or for conducting installation and mechanical tests.
After performing modifications necessitated by the results of the tests the
final mass production tools can be manufactured. Rapid prototyping processes are
mainly used by fast developing industries including automotive and electronics businesses;
for example, the first demonstration specimens of the cars are composed of these parts.
We employ four rapid prototyping processes:
- SLA, laser-based stereolithography
- VACUUM CASTING: vacuum-assisted gravity casting
- RIM: low pressure (reaction) injection moulding
- Small scale injection moulding
Involving our subcontractors and partners, we fulfil orders requiring SLS, SLM, POLYJET and Metalcoating processes.
The computer software slices the 3D component model prepared by
the designer into 100/150 µm layers; the layers contain 2D sections
of the original model. The body is set up by preparing and connecting slices.
For the time being we have one laser processing equipment to prepare parts.
A tank, whose dimensions are 400x400x300 mm, contains liquid PU resin and is the work space of the equipment.
Processing is conducted by a laser beam.
Guiding the beam across the surface of the liquid resin the material will solidify at
the contact points to create the desired geometry.
The size of the largest component that can be prepared
in one piece is identical with that of the work space. The size of the product
to be manufactured can be multiplied by adhesion. Processing accuracy is +/- 0.1 mm.
The SLA piece is suitable for demonstration and serves as a masterpiece for other rapid prototyping processes.
The preparation of SLA masterpiece is followed by sizing and finishing.
Finishing ensures creation, texturizing and painting of the surface of the piece to comply with
various quality grades.
Using the master model a silicone mould can be prepared: the parts are manufactured in a vacuumized
space with gravity casting. The maximum size of the parts that we can cast using vacuum casting technology is 2000x2000x1500 mm.
The service life of the silicone moulds is 25-35 pieces.
RIM casting is manual injection moulding at a pressure of 0.2 bar. The advantage of the process
is that it does not require any equipment with a confined work space therefore the size of the parts
to be produced is not limited: with this process parts whose size exceeds 2000 mm can also be prepared.
The mould is identical with the silicone tool that can be used for vacuum casting; to prepare several
hundreds of parts we use hard polyurethane mould prepared by CNC milling.
The mechanical properties of the prototype parts prepared by RIM technology are nearest to the characteristics
of the original injection moulded part.