Defining What Rapid Tooling Is
Rapid Tooling is a process the benefits of which are greatly desired by large industrial companies on a global scale. Standard tooling is a necessary step in any manufacturing procedure, and unfortunately it tends to be one of the slowest steps, requiring a lot of effort both financially and qualitatively. It is therefore comprehensible why this process is becoming ever more popular.
Most often tools incorporate extremely complex geometries which would entail great accuracy. Typically, the standard to be upheld would be a matter of a fraction of a millimetre. Essentially, this process may be simply defined as the automatic production of high quality machine tools, in a reduced amount of time.
Traditionally, the dies and moulds used in the production were made by hand, CNC-machinery or machines using electro-discharge. All three methods were greatly time-consuming, and in a world where time is of the essence, every second counts. Thus, this type of process started to be developed and improved.
This procedure may be divided in direct or indirect. Nowadays the favoured form is the indirect one. Parts are then employed as patterns or guidelines for producing the required moulds or dies. These models can then be used indirectly in a range of other manufacturing processes.
The direct Rapid Tooling kind is somewhat more of a future vision than a concrete contemporary possibility. Indeed, managing to produce tools directly from a set of CAD data is an enormous achievement. Thankfully, great improvements are being registered in this sector, so the direct form should not remain a mirage for too long.
It is estimated that by using this type of technology it is possible to reduce various expenses and time consumption by up to a staggering seventy-five percent. It therefore comes as no surprise why great efforts are being made to perfect the current systems of Rapid Tooling for the future.
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