In the technological advancement, every aspect of the production has undergone drastic changes. Similar is the case with mechanics. Before opting for new production technology and new products, it is necessary to check its viability and functionality in every aspect. Manufacturing a demo product or a model is necessary before going for full-fledged production to make sure it is right the first time.
In earlier days, it was difficult and very time consuming to get the prototype of the actual product as all the steps had to be done manually. It would consume lot of manpower and time to get the desired results. However, now the things have changed with the invention of prototype machines, which provides higher accuracy and quicker delivery of the models.
The CNC rapid prototyping machine has helped in making parts within 3 to 5 days, which would take around 2 to 3 weeks earlier. Let us get into the details of them and the process:
CNC machining is a subtractive process wherein the 3D file of computer-aided-design (CAD) or computer-aided-manufacturing (CAM) are imported directly in to the system. These files are interpreted and accordingly the parts are machined directly through various computer controlled cutters and tools. In the process, a block of material is taken and placed in the machine. The unwanted material is machined by various in-built tools like drills, saws etc. All the process is combined in a single cell to give the finished product as per the CAD file.
This machine is used typically for projects requiring single-offs to multiple hundreds of parts. It can produce highly accurate engineering models from production materials such as:
- Various type of plastic like ABS, Nylon, PVC, HDPE, Acetyl, PTFE, Polycarbonate etc.
- Indigenous metals like Aluminum, Stainless steel, Brass, Cast Iron or Steel, Titanium and alike.
- Other customized material after going through special production process.
There are various benefits associated using this method which is highlighted as under:
- Cost savings: It allows taking full advantage of the raw material thereby minimizing the wastage. This reduces cost and increases profit.
- Speed: It quickly produces parts which would otherwise take multiple steps and longer period.
- Safety: Since the entire process of fabrication is computer aided and machine controlled, it increases the safety of the operator.
- Improved efficiency: It has internal quality detectors that allow any wrong process or non-working parts to stop the further activity.
- Low cost of production: Once the setup is done, it requires minimum intervention and the machine will continuously repeat the process accurately.
- Consistency: This machine gives consistent output and can run 24 hours continuously thereby increasing the accuracy and consistency.
The machines are constructed to give finished level of output. It can remove marks, and edge breaks to give complete finished product. The finishing can be done through injection molding to give tools a finishing or custom texture and high polish or combination of both. With proper plating and coating, it can also be painted with prime paint as per client’s requirement.
In case, if you are interested in preparing your prototype model for your demo machines with accurate and precision, you have to go for prototyping option. There are various other options like Stereolithography (SLA) and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) to match your additional requirements.