Die Casting proves viable for small batch runs
Making the switch from prototyping to production, and the Far East to the UK
Custom metal prototypes or low volume metal parts are generally manufactured by means of CNC machining or bending. The high accuracies and surface finishes that are available continue to make this an attractive single stage process and one that we are very much involved in.
However, rapid prototyping (RP) is making headway, both directly with processes such as Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), and indirectly through the generation of patterns for both investment casting and sand casting.
We source globally, including the Far East, resulting in access to processes usually only associated with high volume production, such as die casting into the prototype equation.
DMLS (or Laser Cusing) is an additive process, suitable for prototyping & manufacturing of metal parts with highly complex or feature rich designs.
The benefits of CNC parts include substantial flexibility in material choice, high accuracy and repeatability.
Usually only associated with high volumes, Plunkett Associates can offer die casting as a low volume technique as well.
Plunkett Associates can produce low volume quantities of plastic and metal parts in short lead times and at low cost through extrusion.
Metal Plating offers some exciting possibilities both in Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Manufacturing arenas.
Sheet metal is suitable for both low and high volume applications. The higher the volume the higher the tooling costs.