Prototype is the first sample of components which is made before production for verification. For those industries which need high precision metal parts for machinery working such as aerospace industry, semiconductor industry, biomedical electronics, military industry, etc. Prototypes can generate more reliable products. The early metal prototype mockup was handmade due to limitations in special materials purchasing and a long molding schedule. These limits lead to a long time in prototype mock-up and difficulty in fulfilling precision requests on drawings and verification on appearance and structure.
WKPT offers customized metal machining service. We can make several prototype mockups without molding, but use drawings and software design by a five-axis CNC machine. This prototype mock-up can be used on appearance and structure verification and shortened the development schedule in material developing, product design and customization. Under the digital manufacturing trend, applying to digital technology can help us to discover possible production problems in advance.
Responding to modern manufacturing technology, we get 3D printing technology, or additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping from Metal Industries Research & Development Center in Taiwan.
3D printing can be divided into two types, rapid prototyping, RP and rapid manufacturing, RM. WKPT applies 3D printing skills and casting to produce as-cast in the product development stage. Next step is rapid machining and finally generates the rapid-prototyping mock-up for verification. Compared with processes such as molding, sand mold and repairing, 3D printing for development can shorten the prototyping from 30 days to 7 days. To fulfill customers development schedule, we do prototyping mock-up by following steps:
- Purchase metal blocks or bars which meet requirements for full engraving machining.
- Use high-precision 3D metal printing technology to print blanks that meet the material requirements.
- Use 3D sand mold printing technology and various casting molding techniques to complete the rapid prototyping.
- Use modular standard jig parts and combine them into simple manual jigs to hold prototype blanks for rapid prototyping machining.
- Use precision fixed angle vise and multi-axis processing machine for multi-faceted one-time machining to avoid repeated positioning accuracy errors of fixtures.