Rapid prototyping technology and its application in mold field

The rapid development of the world economy, so that the increasingly fierce competition in the manufacturing market, enterprises in order to maintain vitality, and continuously improve product quality and its leading product performance, continuous research and development of new products. Entrepreneurs in the future will be beyond the development cycle of competitors and reduce the cost of new product development as the main objective. Therefore, the business community attaches great importance to the rapid prototyping technology in the 1980s, has also become a hot research topic at home and abroad universities and research institutions. However, due to the rapid prototyping method using the material limitation, the final product can not be completely replaced. After the new product is put on the market after the trial operation, its function test and obtain the user feedback the accurate information aspect also need to make the product through the actual material. Therefore, it is also necessary to use the RP prototype for the prototype molding, manufacturing mold, which resulted in RP-based rapid tooling manufacturing technology (RT). Through theoretical research and 10 years of practical application, the technology shows a strong vitality, has now become a hot mold manufacturing industry. This article focuses on rapid prototyping manufacturing technology based on rapid tooling manufacturing methods.

Rapid Prototyping Model

Fast: parts from CAD planning to prototype model production, almost just a few to several tenths of an hour, faster than traditional molding methods, rapid prototyping technology for new product development and management particularly suitable. Design and manufacture integration: The backward CAPP system has achieved and made it difficult to overcome the limitations of rapid prototyping integration, due to discrete stacking, CAPP is no longer difficult, CAD and CAM can be a good combination of free-form manufacturing: freedom The meaning of two: First, according to the shape of the parts, no special tools to limit the formation of freedom, can greatly reduce the development time of new products; Second, not subject to the impact of complex parts shape constraints. High flexibility: In the CAD model changes, and re-adjust the set parameters to produce different shapes of the model. Extensive material: Rapid prototyping technology can produce plastic resin prototype, you can also create a prototype of metal materials, composites, paraffin and paper, metal and ceramic materials. Highly integrated technology: RP is the integration of computer technology, computer, rapid prototyping technology, numerical control technology, integrated data, laser, material and mechanical control, only highly developed technology in laser devices and power today, with such a fast feature Forming technology. Processing characteristics: rapid prototyping technology breakthrough “blank die-cutting products,” the traditional processing mode, to create a precedent, there is no part of the tool, is an unprecedented stack of layers of treatment. Compared with the traditional cutting method, the rapid prototyping tool has the following advantages:


1) Rapid manufacturing of free surfaces and shapes of complex parts such as grooves, shoulder parts and hollow parts, parts complexity and mass production, manufacturing costs

2) It is a non-contact machining that eliminates the need for tools and machine tool cutting fixtures, tool wear and cutting forces;

3) small vibration, low noise and reduced waste;

4) it can be automated production at night;

5) high processing efficiency, can quickly produce a product entity model making  and mold creating.


In the automotive industry, covering the general characteristics: material thin, large size, complex shape, high surface quality. One by the body of the most personality and change the panel, manufacturing, mold investment, risk, high cost, long cycle. The rapid mold manufacturing method is developed by some University of Science and Technology, spraying high melting point alloy, with high precision molds, good surface quality, economical and durable, mold size restrictions, the product can be formed in batch characteristics, the Chinese car, motorcycle cover Mold production potential. In addition, the rapid tooling manufacturing technology can also be used in automobile, motorcycle, engine, cylinder head and other parts of the interior, in the aerospace industry, such as rapid prototyping model rocket engine shell pump prototype parts manufacturing, with traditional hard machining, the processed product must pass the mold prototype. It is estimated that the opening hours of 8 months, at least 300,000 yuan in costs. The rapid prototyping method is made of plastic product samples for the template, the silicon mold. Die fixed in the standard mold, pouring silicone rubber waiting 12 ~ 20h, to be completely cured silicone rubber along the scheduled sub-line cutting a knife cut, sand casting, pump shell casting pieces can be completed within 2 months, necessary Of the processing, you can install the operation. The full test is the original method of 2/3, cost savings of 3/4.


Rapid prototyping technology has been developed from prototyping to mold manufacturing, the traditional mold manufacturing technology will usher in a new era of innovation, at the same time, rapid prototyping technology successfully applied in the field of rapid mold will undoubtedly inject new vitality, rapid prototyping technology further development. It will eventually enter the manufacturing process of a key part of the rapid manufacturing is a reflection of this trend and requirements. It is noteworthy that today’s rapid prototyping processes are still relatively high compared to traditional manufacturing costs and do not expect rapid prototyping to replace traditional mass production, even if the cost of manufacturing is one day’s rapid prototyping And the future time is reduced to 1% of the value of existence. It is in any case, injection molding method is not comparable. It should be noted that, along with the rapid development of the rapid development of technology, it is in small batch production and single copy or have a brilliant future. The third thing to note is that the mold making industry contributes to the rapid prototyping technology, while rapidly improving the quality and current production life is not perfect, practice has proved that molds and injection molding can be applied to all small batch production, rapid mold making technology, I believe there will be a short-term major breakthrough.