The manufacturing of prototypes or goods in a short time is accomplished through the employment of rapid tooling. Molds and punches help to speed up and lower the cost of the development process for parts by mass-producing the same object in large quantities. For their production, high-hardness tool steel alloys with hardness ranging from 60 to 65 HRC are used. This is important in order to ensure that the workpieces are wear-resistant and have enough durability.
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The tooling is utilized when:
- When it comes to pressure treatment. Special punches are created specifically for this purpose, and these punches are then utilized to manufacture the finished items.
- For casting plastics or aluminum. In order for the tool material to operate properly, the working temperature must be higher than the melting point of the component. Only in this manner will the master mold’s hardness and wear resistance be preserved. When it comes to casting plastics and aluminum, molds composed of heat-resistant steels are most commonly utilized.
- In manufacturing, mold and punches for cutting and punching metals is a part of industry. In this scenario, the hardness of the mold is the most important characteristic to consider: it should be greater than the hardness of the substance to be cut.
Through the employment of specialized instruments in rapid tooling, it is possible to perform additional or specialized processing and/or modification of production.
Phases of production
- The creation of a three-dimensional geometric model.
- Technical documentation and design production.
- The development of a control program for CNC machines for the purpose of precision machining.
- Production of the separate components, as well as their assembly.
- Controlling the output’s quality.
In addition, professional companies can give technical assistance and implement tooling if necessary.
Other technologies, such as chemical-thermal cementing and nitriding, as well as grinding and electrical discharge machining, are employed to improve the qualities of the finished products in addition to heat treatment. Using this method, you are able to achieve outstanding accuracy and quality in the products.
When is rapid tooling required?
It is estimated that machinery companies supply more than 95 percent of the equipment preinstalled in manufacturing units. The equipment is already included with the machines, and in order to order replacement equipment, you must first contact the manufacturer. As a result, shipping from outside is expensive, and the production must be held for several months before being shipped. Aside from that, there are some types of equipment that cannot be purchased directly from the manufacturer; in these cases, you will be required to create your own drawings from scratch. This is the case for using a company that is capable of doing rapid tooling construction projects of any complexity. From the creation of a 3D layout to the production of finished products.
The production of tools can only be organized by a large company with a modern tool shop that collaborates with experienced designers and technologists on a daily basis. Often, it is unprofitable for small businesses that manufacture finished goods to invest in this type of technological production infrastructure. In this case, it is possible to guarantee high production speed, exact compliance with the written guidelines, and compliance with the quality in a batch of any volume.