Re: Flexible RP materials

From: Nick Osborn (
Date: Fri Aug 07 1998 - 10:05:30 EEST

Dear Joe

Further to your request for information on flexible RP materials, I would agree with Todd Grimm's point that there are a number of RP systems capable of handling materials with varying degrees of flexibility, and hence producing parts which attempt to simulate production mouldings.

If all you require is a rough simulation of the production moulding (i.e. right size and shape to within 0.1mm in general, and an element of flexibility, in a native RP material) then a direct RP model(s) should suffice for your product design evaluation needs.

However, if you need to be totally confident of your design's intended production characteristics before signing off the spend on the production tooling, then you will need to prototype your design in production intent material.

Again, there are a number of Rapid Tooling options available, each with their own capabilities and limitations. A quick scan of the list's archives will give you all the details you need on the processes available to date - as your company is inolved with Rapid Tooling and Injection Moulding I'm sure you will already be aware of these.

However, I would like to ask a few questions so that we can evaluate the suitability of our LIPTOOL(TM) Rapid Tooling Process (a proprietary process which is due for full launch later this month) with regard to your flexible strap component:

Technical questions:

What is the intended production material?

What is the intended production process? (I'm guessing injection / compression moulding...?)

What is the projected number of production mouldings required per annum? (i.e. are you planning on full blown production tooling?)

How many prototype mouldings in production material do you need for testing / evaluation? (min. & max. figures would be helpful).

Commercial questions:

How soon do you need them? (Again, min. and max. delivery times would help)

Have you identified a budget for the prototying / production of this part?

Do you have a regular need for prototype parts in production intent material?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Nick Osborn

Nick Osborn
Technical Director
Laser Integrated Prototypes Ltd.
140 - 144 Station Road, March,
Cambs. PE15 8NH, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 1354 650 789
Fax: +44 (0) 1354 650 799

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