Application Of Rapid Prototyping Technology In Mold Manufacturing

The current rapid molding methods generally include indirect molding and metal direct molding. Commonly used rapid molding methods are soft mold, bridge mold and hard mold.

(1) Soft Tooling

Usually referred to as a silicone rubber mold. The prototype made by SLA, FDM, LOM or SLS technology is turned into a silicone rubber mold, and then the two-component polyurethane is poured into the mold, and the desired parts are obtained after curing.

(2) Bridge Tooling

Usually refers to epoxy molds that can be directly produced by injection molding. Compared with traditional injection molds, the cost of epoxy molds is only a fraction of the cost of traditional methods, and the production cycle is greatly reduced.

(3) Hard Tooling

It is generally referred to in the indirect manufacturing of metal molds and the direct processing of metal molds by rapid prototyping. At present, the wax or resin model is processed by the SLA, FDM and SLS methods, and the metal parts are produced by investment casting; and the SLS method is used to select a suitable molding material to process the casting cavity for casting.

For many years, metal direct forming and rapid molding technology, mainly selective laser sintering (SLS) directly to make metal molds. Such sintered parts tend to be low-density porous structures, which can directly form a metal mold after infiltrating a metal having a low melting point phase.

The wax mold in investment casting is processed by SLA, SLS, FDM or LOM method, which is one of the most important ways to produce metal parts and metal molds. After special surface treatment of the prototype surface obtained by rapid modeling, instead of the wood mold, the gypsum type or porcelain type can be directly manufactured, or the RP prototype can be converted into a gypsum or ceramic type by a silicone rubber mold, and then cast by a gypsum type or a ceramic type. Metal mold. This is also one of the effective methods.

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