Re: Ceramic Prototypes

Date: Fri Feb 11 2000 - 07:52:00 EET

Jim ;
I'm not familiar with your particular application but I have a couple things
you might look into to solve your problem. The first solution is high speed
CNC. We do quite a bit of machining of prototype parts in thermoset
materials. You can get the material in sheet form. We then program as many
parts as will fit on that sheet. Our Makino A77 CNC machine has 2 pallets
with 8 working surfaces and can easily machine hundreds of complex parts in a
day. In plastics you can often cut the majority of the part at 500-1000
inches per minute. I don't know what the feed rates would be on Macor. But
with the new diamond and carbide tooling available today pretty much anything
can be machined. Make sure you have good dust collection even with a totally
enclosed machine you wouldn't want to breath the dust. The sheets are held to
the working surface with double stick tape so the parts won't fly off on your
last cut. Our machines is mostly used to cut hardened steel mould cavities
(Rc-52-54) so I can't imagine anything that couldn't be cut. I'm sure there
are CNC shops (check mould shops) in your area that could help you out. I'm
not offering a sevice (we don't have any open capacity ourselves) only a
  My other thought would be to have a wax mould made of your part and have
your parts investment cast somehow in some type of ceramics. This is not my
area of expertise so I'm sure someone else will jump in here and explain how
to do it properly.
 My two cents
Bob Morton
Fusion Engineering

In a message dated 2/10/00 4:18:35 PM Central Standard Time, writes:

<< Folks, I am looking for alternative methods/vendors for prototyping ceramic
 lamp bases. They operate in a 500-700 deg C environment. These are nor
 simply 2D with some through holes or slots. These parts can get fairly
 complex, for ceramics. Generally I machine them from Macor but can make only
 2 a day on our CNC. I may need 100 pretty soon and at about 2/ day I am
 looking at 50 work days, with no scrap...not nearly acceptable.
 I have tried to have some made by the SLS process (DTM, thru Brent Stucker,
 Univ. Rhode Island), and the parts were good but could not handle elevated
 temperatures. I still think that is a viable approach and if someone has
 more info I would be most appreciative. Since I don't know the sintering
 temperature of the laser, and a heck of a lot of other things, there may /
 may not be a material that will work by this process.
 If any of you would like to quote some of these, please let me know. I do
 not generate drawings unless forced into it (for prototype parts), so you
 need to be able to take IGES data.
 Thanks a lot.
 Jim >>

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