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Beyond Stereolithography. Presented by: Paul Armstrong. Concepts. Time Compression Cost effective new product introduction Rapid Prototyping Rapid Tooling Functional Plastic and Metal Prototypes Marriage of CAD & RP technology with crafts-based traditional patternmaking skills.

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Beyond stereolithography

Beyond Stereolithography

Presented by: Paul Armstrong


  • Time Compression

  • Cost effective new product introduction

  • Rapid Prototyping

  • Rapid Tooling

  • Functional Plastic and Metal Prototypes

  • Marriage of CAD & RP technology with crafts-based traditional patternmaking skills

If everything is under control you re probably not going fast enough

If everything is under control, you’re probably not going fast enough”

Mario Andretti

Why use prototypes
Why Use Prototypes?

  • Fit and Function Testing

  • Design Verification and Refinement

  • Market Analysis and Funding

  • Aid for designing production tooling and fixtures

Benefits of rp
Benefits of RP

  • Quick production of prototype or model

  • Model produced from designer’s database

  • Provides excellent pattern for:

    • Aluminum castings via sand or plaster-mold

    • Plastic parts in thermoplastic resins or urethanes

Machined aluminum castings
Machined Aluminum Castings

  • Plaster Mold–RPM

  • Precision Air-set Sand

  • Graphite Mold

Benefits of rpm casting
Benefits of RPM Casting

  • Aluminum, zinc or magnesium parts in 1-5 weeks

  • Die Cast Prototyping

    • Simulates die casting for appearance and physical properties

    • Soft tooling allows for ease of geometry modification

    • Relatively low cost- Magnitude of ten rule of thumb

Benefits of rpm
Benefits of RPM

  • Can be production process for projects that can’t justify hard tooling

  • Bridge tooling and tooling insurance

  • Replace lost production tools

  • Excellent surface finishes

  • Accommodates complex geometry with undercuts

  • Thin wall sections with excellent weight to strength ratio

    • 0.080” wall typical 0.020” wall possible

Castform parts in 1 week
CastForm – Parts in 1 Week



Benefits of precision sand casting
Benefits of Precision Sand Casting

  • Aluminum cast parts in 2-5 weeks

  • Excellent surface finish and overall casting appearance compared with other sand processes

  • Superior metallurgical properties

Cast parts in 2 weeks via rpm or sand
Cast Parts in 2 weeks via RPM or Sand

  • Day 1: file transfer and interpretation

  • engineering review and prep part for process

  • Days 1-2: creation of master pattern

  • Days 3-5: creation of foundry tooling

  • Day 6: pour & bake molds

  • Day 7: pour castings

  • Days 8-10:secondary operations and qualify castings

Benefits of graphite molding
Benefits of Graphite Molding

  • Aluminum, zinc or magnesium parts in 3- 5 weeks

  • Semi-permanent mold will make hundreds of parts from one tool

  • Ideal for 100-2000 parts

    • Short run production

    • Bridge from prototype process to production

  • Able to cast spec die-cast alloys: 380, 390

    • More accurate test results for tensile, yield, hardness

What is kirksite
What is Kirksite?

  • Zinc-aluminum alloy

    • 94% Zn, 6% AL

    • 725° F melting point

  • Castable, machinable, weldable

  • Zinc is used to enhance tool life

  • Kirksite molds have been around for fifty years

  • SLA/RP technology unlocked real potential

Benefits of rapid injection molding
Benefits of Rapid Injection Molding

  • Prototypes in production thermoplastic resins in a 1-4 weeks

    • Allows for full functional testing

  • Relatively low cost tooling made from SLA master

  • Bridge or production tooling

    • Molds can run thousands of parts

  • Cast tooling can be used for many plastic processes

Tooling for rapid injection molding
Tooling for Rapid Injection Molding

  • Prototyping/ Design Verification/Bridge Tool

    • Cast Kirksite

    • Sintered Steel

    • Machined Aluminum

  • Production

    • Cast Kirksite

    • Machined aluminum

    • Sintered Steel

    • Machined Steel

Limitations of cast tooling


Tight tolerance CTF dimensions can be machined into mold or parts


Appearance critical areas can be enhanced thru mold finishing

Upgrade cooling and ejection

Tool life

Molds can run thousands of parts depending on material

Dupilcate tool easily made from master


Glass filled - insert in high wear areas

Material temp< 725° F

Limitations of Cast Tooling

Cast tooling vs cut al
Cast Tooling vs. Cut AL

  • Cheaper and quicker

  • Tooling upgradeable after prototype run

  • Complex 3D geometry

    • Compound curves

    • Angular shapes

  • Speeds design refinement cycle

  • CTF quality requirement

Rim reaction injection molding
RIM- Reaction Injection Molding

  • Polyurethane molded parts in 2-5 weeks

  • Excellent flowability and processing allows for molding of:

    • Complex shapes

    • Soft and sharp detail

    • Thick and thin sections

    • Openings, ribs and louvers

  • Foamed polyurethanes are natural thermal and acoustic insulators

Rim benefits
RIM Benefits

  • Low internal mold pressures

  • Low cost tooling allows for ease of geometry modification

  • Superior cosmetic appearance for visible components

  • Superb encapsulation capability

  • Reduction in assembly operations with part consolidation

When to use rim
When to use RIM

  • Housings, bezels, chassis, bases, doors, speaker enclosures

  • Visually critical applications

  • Large plastic parts

  • Encapsulation requirements

  • Insulation requirements

Types of rim tooling
Types of RIM tooling

  • Silicone rubber - handful of parts

  • Epoxy resin - up to 100 pcs

  • Spray metal - several hundred pcs

  • Cast tooling

  • Machined aluminum

  • Machined steel

Thank you for coming

Thank You for Coming

Armstrong Mold Corporation6910 Manlius Center RoadEast Syracuse, New York 13057-9597Phone: (315) 437-1517