Rapid Prototype Process

The pattern creation stage is the only thing that differs from the process we use to manufacture our production investment castings. Find out more below.

3D printing and additive manufacturing are terms most often associated with being the latest processes to burst onto the scene of the manufacturing industry. However, at Precision Investment Castings we have been using this technology for over 30 years.

We adopted this technology when the first stereolithography machine arrived in Europe. We are one of only a few investment casting manufacturers in the UK that have their own 3D printing equipment.

Why was it so important that we invested in this technology?

The answer is simple…we wanted to be able to meet the demands of our clients who were requesting Rapid Prototype castings.

The Process

We use the same casting techniques as we would for a production casting but production times can be reduced by up to 5 weeks due to the fact that our rapid prototype castings do not require tooling in order to be produced. This is where our 3D printing equipment becomes invaluable. We are able to produce the patterns that are required to produce castings using our wax thermojet printer as opposed to using Aluminium tooling to create the patterns as we would for a production run. This dramatically reduces production time and cost.

Pattern Creation

A wax pattern that is an exact replica of the desired casting is produced using our wax thermojet printer. In some instances, this pattern is created using another additive manufacturing technique such as Stereolithography, Quickcast, Selective Laser Sintering.

Assembly

After the patterns have been cleaned, feeders are attached and the patterns are assembled onto a grid.

Shelling, de-waxing, pouring, shell removal

These assemblies are then subjected to the same process as our production castings.

INTERESTED IN RAPID PROTOTYPING?

For more information on how we can manufacture rapid prototype castings for you, contact our team now.

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