Has anyone used a rapid manufacturing process for a low volume product? If so, what material was used?
I am just working at an mock up and rapid prototyping company,the material is ABS,Acrylic,PC,PP,POM and so on.
I’ve done a lot of RTV Cast Urethane too…
CNC is good for parts that are as strong as injection molded and with higher tolerance than RTV or SLA… very useful when the part is small or has to go out in the field to work in a rugged environ.
Also had low volume parts investment cast in Magnesium then over-molded with RTV with costly but nice results… very tough.
SLS is pretty nice if the finish and coloring is not that important, it’s white and doesn’t take paint very well; good side is that stuff is tough! Great for testing products and you can make iterative changes as you go… just staying ahead of the assemblers
In my world (Phoenix Proto) there is NO limitation’s on design or material like many other ‘rapid prototype’ methods.
3 weeks, no limitations. Done.
As for low volumes, we offer free prototypes on supplied resin.
Low production volumes might be qualified for bridge tooling. Bridge tooling used for volumes under 500,000 is very successful in quality and cost efficient over purchasing a production tool at much higher costs. A major OEM recently proved that Aluminum tooling was efficient for production volumes