Silicone Rubber: Silicone rubber includes RTV (Room Temperature Vulcanizing) and Platinum-cured silicones. They offer high flexibility and a good surface finish, making them suitable for complex geometries and undercuts.
Conventional tooling is a traditional method of making molds, dies, and other tooling components through a series of steps, including design, machining, and assembly. These tools are used to form and shape materials, such as plastic, metal, and composites, into finished products. Conventional tooling can be time-consuming and expensive, with lead times of several weeks or months. The end product produced through conventional tooling is often of high quality, but the process itself has limitations in terms of speed, cost, material options, and complex geometries.
Conventional tooling and rapid tooling are different in several ways:
Speed: As the name suggests, rapid tooling is much faster than traditional tooling. It can make prototypes and tools for mass production in just a few hours or days, whereas making tools the old way can take weeks or even months.
Cost: Rapid tooling is often cheaper than traditional tooling because it skips many of the steps of traditional tooling and makes it possible to make high-quality parts for a fraction of the price.
Complexity: Conventional tools can only make parts with a certain shape and level of complexity. Rapid tooling, on the other hand, can handle complicated shapes and fine details, which makes it a more flexible choice.
Material: Rapid tooling can use a wider range of materials, including composites and metals, while traditional tooling is often limited to traditional materials like steel and aluminum.
Accuracy: Rapid tooling can make tools that are very accurate and stable in size, which makes it a great choice for tools used in production. Even though traditional tools can still make high-quality parts, they may be less flexible in this way.
are different in several ways:
Purpose: Rapid tooling is the process of making a tool for mass production. Rapid prototyping is the process of making a first version of a product to test and validate its design.
Output: Rapid prototyping usually makes one or a small number of working prototypes, while rapid tooling makes a tool or mold that can be used to make a lot of the final product.
Materials: Plastics, resins, or composites that look a lot like the final product are often used in rapid prototyping. Rapid tooling, on the other hand, can use a wider range of materials, including metals.
Lead time: Both rapid tooling and rapid prototyping are faster than traditional methods, but rapid prototyping usually has a shorter lead time because it doesn’t require making a tool.
Cost: Rapid tooling is usually more expensive than rapid prototyping because it involves more complicated processes and the creation of a tool that will be used for mass production.
In conclusion, both rapid tooling and rapid prototyping are important steps in the process of making a new product, but they do different things and have different results. Rapid prototyping is used to confirm and test a product design, while rapid tooling is used to make a tool for mass production.
Soft tooling and hard tooling are also frequently mentioned in rapid tooling.
Below are the Differences between Soft tooling and hard tooling:
Durability: Hard tooling is made of durable materials such as steel or aluminum, and is designed to withstand high levels of stress and repeated use. Soft tooling, on the other hand, is made of more flexible materials such as foam, rubber, or other suitable compounds, and is intended for short-term use.
Cost: Hard tooling is typically more expensive than soft tooling, as it requires the use of expensive materials and complex machining processes. Soft tooling is often a more cost-effective alternative, as it can be produced quickly and inexpensively, making it ideal for prototyping and low-volume production runs.
Rapid tooling is generally faster and more streamlined than traditional tooling, making this method widely applicable. Here are some of the applications of rapid tooling: