Re: CNC High Speed Machining as Alternative of Rapid Tooling

From: Wade Williams (
Date: Fri Jan 15 1999 - 21:00:48 EET

Roger that, Will! You've hit the nail on the head.

We have specialized in RTV tooling and run into a lot of prejudice or
misinformation about what we can accomplish. PDSI recognizes the industry-wide
dedication to advancing technology and we applaud it. But just like Will
mentions, results, especially with maintaining budgets and meeting deliveries,
can be the most critical concerns for some projects.

Is price the issue? Is budgeting and JIT inventory key? Do you want the
flexibility of a few parts now and hundreds later? Do you need 6 dozen parts
in a week? What key physical characteristics do you require of the materials?
WIll there be UL testing.

Each job is unique and hard to fit in a standardized program. That is what RP
results are all about. Even though the future of the RP industry relies on
technological advances and the patience to see them through, there are still a
lot of hammers in those service bureaus that work very well.

Wade Wlliams

will pattison wrote:

> it seems to me, having read all these posts on rapid tooling, that
> something is left to be said.
> when the question of rapid tooling comes up, i find that people tend to
> behave much like they do during design- they want to jump straight to a
> solution without considering some fundamental questions. the result is the
> kind of thing that caused some wise old-timer to say "when the only tool
> you can see is a hammer, every job looks like a nail." that old-timer was
> commenting on the fact that we often tend to look at the tool first, rather
> than at the job to be done. whether it's design, prototyping, or rapid
> tooling, we should really be thinking about the fundamental goal first-
> fastening two objects together, so to speak. is that what we really want
> to do? is the nail even the right fastener?
> so, when someone asks me what i would recommend as a rapid tooling
> solution, or more commonly, "do you recommend method "x" for this rapid
> tool?", i answer by asking them what they hope to learn. do you want
> material of choice? is surface finish your most important requirement? do
> you need 1000 parts? will it need slides or inserts? only then do i even
> begin to consider if it should be done by (in no particular order):
> spray metal tooling
> rapidsteel by dtm
> direct aim
> aluminum tooling
> epoxy tooling
> p20 tooling
> cast steel or aluminum tooling
> rtv tooling
> expresstool
> polysteel
> back-filled duraform copper
> machined nylon
> machined and nickel plated graphite
> albright tooling
> high-speed machining
> and so on......
> my point is this- all of these methods can be made to work, and work well,
> in the right circumstances. the "right circumstances", however, may not
> occur unless the fundamental issues are addressed first. this may seem
> trivial, but i see it happen every day. the result is that expectations
> are not properly set, dissatisfaction results, somebody gets blamed, and
> the product development cycle is stalled. i guess sometimes, even in the
> environment of rapid everything, we need to slow down for a moment in order
> to actually go faster.
> will pattison
> product development engineer
> 4d design
> austin, tx
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