Rapid Tooling System - Technologies and Industrial Applications

By Jon T Smith

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The term Rapid Tooling (RT) is used to describe a process which either uses a Rapid Prototyping (RP) technique as a medium to create a mold quickly or uses the Rapid Prototyping process directly to fabricate a tool for a limited volume of prototypes. RT takes less tooling time and cost than a conventional tool. It can be used to make multiple parts out of alternative materials.

The rapid tooling processes include the following:

  1. Composite Injection;
  2. Kirksite Injection;
  3. Silicone Vacuum Cast;
  4. Zinc and Aluminum Plaster Cast;
  5. Spray Metal Injection; and
  6. Sand Cast.

Rapid tooling is becoming a new model for the industry. It's used as prototype tooling and used mainly for low-volume production. Depending on the part design and the choice of the material being injected, there can be numerous parts developed through this technique. The rapid prototype tooling services creates precise molds faster and with high-speed milling capabilities. The RT machines can run up to 42,000 RPMs and can have a tolerance of .0002". It is the most accurate method of any rapid prototyping equipment used for rapid tooling.

RT is not about the process but it is all about fast results that can be achieved and success is gained by employing a leading-edge technology. It is the combination of tools, methods, processes and people that makes the solution rapid. Rapid tooling is the result of an additive process driven by 3D (Dimensional) CAD (Computer Aided Designs and requires little or no machining. The use of "rapid tooling" in work area attracts the attention of buyers and consequences are direct increase in sales.

EMS USA provides rapid prototyping services, such as stereolithography (SLA), rapid tooling, rapid manufacturing

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