Rapid Prototyping

At Lestercast we offer a dedicated Rapid Prototyping service. This is also known as Additive Manufacturing (AM) to assist with our in-house tooling facility.

Our highly-skilled team maintains considerable expertise in this relatively new prototyping technology. As a pioneering UK specialist, we are able to provide customers with an efficient method of acquiring high quality, cast parts – quickly.

The method offers a quick turnaround process. This then reduces the product sample time prior to hard-tooling which is ideal in the creation of pre-production parts.

Main benefits of Rapid Prototyping

  • With precision and speed, your solid models can be generated
  • Accurate, complex 3D shapes are produced quickly and efficiently from CAD drawings
  • We can produce Wax models in hours and turn them into investment castings in as little as 1-2 weeks. It is approximately 4-6 weeks for conventional casting methods.
  • Design and development stages for a new part are costly in time and money. Rapid Prototyping simplifies the overall process and reduces lead times considerably
  • Without the need for expensive tooling modifications, at this stage we can change your design easily where required
  • Greater flexibility in terms of your design – often required when testing various design options
  • We can turn your design models accurately into manufactured items
  • Effective method to validate the form and fit of your design
  • The complex metal shapes formed through rapid prototyping would potentially be impossible to make via other casting methods

Take a look at our Rapid Prototyping video below – a brief insight into how Lestercast excels as a RP specialist

Industry Sectors

Here at Lestercast we offer rapid prototyping for any and all sectors and work closely into the following, :-

Aerospace, artistic and creative models, architecture, automotive, motorsport, defence, electronics, general engineering, marine industry, nuclear, oil and gas, rail, safety and fire systems, valves and pumps

To find out more about Additive Manufacturing and Rapid Prototyping visit our FAQs page.

Rapid Prototyping Vs Traditional Casting Methods

What is Rapid Prototyping….in a nutshell?

Rapid prototyping is a technique used to quickly manufacture a scale model through the use of a CAD programme to implement the design and a 3D printer is used to convert the 2D design into a physical finished piece.

The benefit of this is of course evident from the name, the speed in which the image can become a reality – it’s considerably faster than manufacturing a tool and selecting a casting technique to manufacture the part.

In addition to the speed in which the item is produced, the design can be tweaked and further prototypes created until the item is perfected, a common method in the early stages of manufacture in the Motorsport industry. The term ‘Additive layer’ manufacturing is often referred to here.

One of Lestercast’s major areas of development is in Rapid Prototyping. Our highly skilled team has considerable expertise in this relatively new prototyping technology and as a pioneering UK Rapid Prototyping specialist, we are able to provide customers with an efficient method of acquiring high quality cast parts quickly.

Lestercast have the ISO 9001:2015 Certification and IATF 16949:2016 in addition to the Fit 4 Nuclear standard – for further information click here.

Why Rapid Prototyping is right for your product?

Rapid Prototyping 3d Printing

In the context of casting production, the design and development stages for a new part can be very costly in terms of time and money, especially in the early stages of product development but the use of rapid processing technologies (rapid prototyping) simplifies the process and reduces lead times considerably for pre-production parts especially.

The principal benefit is the speed at which the solid model is generated and its ability to produce complex 3D shapes accurately from CAD drawings. Wax models can be produced in hours and turned into investment castings within one to two weeks, compared with the overall lead time of four to six weeks using conventional production methods.

In many cases, the use of rapid processing technologies as part of the investment casting process provides the capability to achieve complex metal shapes that are impossible to make through other methods.

Customer Quotation:

“The rapid prototypes Lestercast have manufactured have allowed engine testing to proceed months ahead of schedule.”

The 3 methods Lestercast uses to produce your Rapid Prototype

  1. Thermojet 3D printer – A 3D CAD file is input into our systems and a wax model is created by printing wax layer by layer. The finished piece is then investment cast as per our normal processes.
  2. A master resin is created and silicone tool is produced, the silicone is then broken open and used as a tool to inject wax into.
  3. A plastic tool is printed on 3D printer, two halves fixed together and wax is injected directly into the tool – this leaves the control to produce own parts.

Innovation is at the heart of Lestercast and new means to produce cleaner methods, higher quality waxes and tooling and diversify Rapid Prototyping is always at the forefront for our customers.

To discuss a potential product with us that could be produced through Rapid Prototyping, please contact us directly, we’d be delighted to talk it through with you.

A product made using the Rapid Prototyping process

“The rapid prototypes Lestercast have manufactured have allowed engine testing to proceed months ahead of schedule.”

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