Metal Prototype and Production parts. What are the options?

Metal Parts

Metal Parts

Metals offer a diverse range of properties and can be machined conventionally or additively (AM). For many of the components we see, the production method will be casting or machining and, as such, prototyping by the same method has distinct advantages. However, additive manufacture (DMLS) is gaining ground as parts start to be designed exclusively for this process.

CNC machined prototype exhibition modelMetal 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.

DMLS metal partsHowever, 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.CNC machined metal parts

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.

Got a question about metal prototype parts? Take a look at our FAQs, or visit our processes page to find out more about process options for metal prototype and production parts.

Alternatively, give us a call. As an ISO 9001:2008 Quality System certified supplier, we can supply the perfect solution for your part.

Metal Parts Processes

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)

DMLS (or Laser Cusing) is an additive process, suitable for prototyping/manufacturing of metal parts with highly complex or feature rich designs.

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CNC Machining

The benefits of CNC parts include substantial flexibility in material choice, high accuracy and repeatability.

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Die Casting

Usually only associated with high volumes, Plunkett Associates can offer die casting as a low volume technique as well.

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Extrusion

Plunkett Associates can produce low volume quantities of plastic and metal parts in short lead times and at low cost through extrusion.

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Metal Plating

Metal Plating offers some exciting possibilities both in Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Manufacturing arenas.

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Sheet Metal

Sheet metal is suitable for both low and high volume applications. The higher the volume the higher the tooling costs.

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Investment Casting

Investment Casting produces good surface finish and accuracy for metal parts although some machining may still be required.

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Sand Casting

Sand Casting can create simple metal parts in 7-10 days, although post machining may be required.

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