Rapid Prototypes

Models

Rapid Prototyping (RP) is the additive (layer by layer) manufacture of three-dimensional solid models, in a suitable material, directly from 3D CAD data. With RP, Tritech is able to provide resin models that can be used for design verification and interpretation purposes. Other benefits that can be obtained from a visual model include easier quoting, die design and CMM inspection programming.

Castings

RP models can then be directly used to produce prototype castings via the investment casting process. Tritech Precision Products "In house" RP facility utilises a 3D Systems Thermojet wax printing machine, which can directly build wax models for the production of rapid prototype castings. Larger castings are produced from either SLA or SLS RP models as appropriate to the design of the part.

For information regarding tolerances of rapid prototype castings please refer to the tolerances listed in the Technical Services section and allow for a factor of x 1.5.

By producing cast products the full benefit of RP can be harnessed. These benefits include:

  • The lead time for the first off casting being drastically reduced because the lead time for tooling production is completely eliminated.
  • The prototype for initial testing purposes is provided quickly.
  • Any design changes required after initial testing can quickly be incorporated and further castings produced, again without hard tooling needing to be produced or modified.
  • Initial production can be produced by this route, where timescales are tight and while the production tooling is being built.
  • Short run production can also be accommodated, where the quantity required does not justify hard tooling.

The Tritech Group undertakes a concurrent engineering approach to projects, and when RP is used in conjunction with the company's Solidification Simulation capabilities, Tritech engineers can ensure that the part is designed correctly and is produced right first time, within the shortest possible timescales.

The Tritech Group's rapid prototyping software for model building is capable of directly importing STL files in binary (preferably) or ascii format, however all the files listed in the 3D CAD Modelling section can be converted in house to STL if required.