Metal prototyping has become an important part of the modern manufacturing industry. With new products coming into the market almost every day, rapid prototyping metal is now a crucial part for the prototyping industry. Rapid metal products and its prototyping are crucial to be carried out by someone who understands your needs and ideas and has the capability to turn your ideas into a profitable reality.
What Is Rapid Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping metal is one of the latest technologies of of creating prototype. Under this technology, the virtual 3D designs are converted into final products/prototypes in a fraction of time and cost as compared to the conventional methods. Rapid prototyping metal is an additive manufacturing technique which makes uses of modern techniques such as metal 3D printing and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS).
In this competitive age, in order for your design and product to make huge profits and become a success, it is essential that rapid prototyping services are made use of rather than going with the slow conventional methods.
Why Rapid Prototyping Over Conventional Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping metal has numerous advantages over conventional prototyping techniques. One of the most important advantage that this technique is the speed. As the name implies, the metal prototyping can be done in a much lesser time and the results are rapid metal products due to the technique of rapid prototyping metal.
Rapid prototyping techniques use state-of-the-art machinery and high worker skill in order to make your prototype faster so that your time-critical prototype makes it to the show before anyone else’s can.
This technique also allows for a high level of design optimization and the prototyping of many of the complex designs. Rapid prototyping metal methods such as 3D printing open up limitless possibilities which deemed impossible before.
Modern metal prototyping also allows improving the overall efficiency of the design by design simplification and reduction of the number of operational parts. This, therefore, lowers down the overall cost and the time taken for the prototyping manufacturing.
Rapid Prototyping Metal
Metal prototyping can be carried out by a variety of metals, however, one of the most commonly used metal for prototyping is Aluminium. Metal prototyping is widely carried out with Aluminium due to its physical and chemical properties. Being a low-cost metal along with formability makes it the prototypes’ choice for their job.
Aluminium is also the primary rapid prototyping metal because it is cheap, readily available, can be machined faster and do not require additional polishing and finishing. That being said, any metal prototyping carried out by aluminium is both cost and time effective.
- AL 5052
Aluminium 5052 has one of the highest strengths of all the grades that we use here. It has an excellent resistance to saltwater corrosion as well as the marine environment. AL 5052 also has an excellent workability, therefore, the rapid metal products can be made of complex designs using this aluminium grade. Aluminium 5052 also has a very high fatigue strength.
- AL 6061
6061 aluminium has good resistance to corrosion as well as a good spectrum of mechanical properties. Aluminium 6061 can be easily be machined via modern metal prototyping techniques. Aluminium 6061 has good workability under annealed condition.
- AL 7075
Aluminium 7075 is one of the strongest grade aluminium presents for prototyping and producing rapid metal products. This metal has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and is effectively used in products being subjected to high stresses.
- AL 2024
Aluminium 2024 is a bit pricey as compared to the Aluminium 6000s due to the copper content present however, it is stronger. Aluminium 2024 has an acceptable corrosion performance for the short run rapid metal products. Aluminium 2024 is one of the most commonly used metal in prototyping since it is cheaper and has an acceptable corrosion rate.
- AL 1100
For complex designs, Aluminium 1100 is the right choice of metal. It is ductile and soft along with good workability. Aluminium 1100 also has an excellent resistance to corrosion however, it is non-heat treatable.
- AL 3003
Aluminium 3003 is popular in metal prototyping due to its excellent workability and high resistance to corrosion. Aluminium 3003 is a commercially pure aluminium with Magnesium added in order to enhance the strength of the material. It is noted, that Aluminium 3003 is around 20% stronger than it 1001 counterpart.
Choosing The Right Rapid Prototyping Metal
With aluminium being established as the right choice of metal for your prototyping needs, it is crucial to determine the right grade of Aluminium as well. When choosing the right aluminium grade, here are some of the factors to consider;
- Heat treating
- Resistance to corrosion
- End use of the product