Rapid prototyping is traditionally a term used to describe prototype fabrication using additive manufacturing, or 3D printing as it’s now commonly recognised. Here at RENND we find the term is better understood when applied to a range of manufacturing technologies more suited to rapid production and ongoing development cycles.
Whilst additive manufacturing can play a significant role in our prototyping services, 3D printable materials, including metals, rarely exhibit the mechanical characteristics and toleranced geometry of their machined counterparts. Achieving the specified tolerances is critical to design evaluation and as such we use a range of production and manufacturing methods which work in harmony with 3D printing.
Such methods include CNC machining printed components down to specification, or machining models using free-machining and stable materials such as Delrin or PU Epoxy allowing us to reduce CNC cycle times and tool wear down to a minimum whilst producing unrivalled part finishes.
Other techniques can involve resin casting or RIM production to more closely represent the final design material without incurring the costs of large scale production.