By joining the casting parts together again a casting cavity is created into

By joining the casting parts together again a casting

This preview shows page 302 - 304 out of 358 pages.

By joining the casting parts together again a casting cavity is created into which metal can be poured. For example, the casting of aluminium has been done this way (15). This process is not easy if the internal structure is important. ~ Laser Direct Casting (LDC) As already noted the various laser direct casting or weld build techniques create the functional part directly. Mazumder is currently able to cast moulds for die casting for example (16, 17). ~ RPtooli~ Possibly rapid prototypIng is most useful in creating tools, as in the example above. Die casting and injection moulding tools, press tools, EDM tools and soft tools. "Soft tools" are tools which can make up to twenty or more parts in order to test the design of the tool itself. All these are achievable targets for this new manufacturing method. 7.7. AppUcations Rapid prototypIng is one of the most exciting developments in design technique this century. Models are far superior to drawings in clarifying conceptual problems. The ability to iterate a design within a given time is essential for optimising art or engineering artifacts. Important applications which have been proposed or demonstrated include:
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290 Laser Material Processing • Three-dimensional topographic maps from satellite data. Architectural models complete with complex internal structures. • Templates and cams for mechanical controls. Three-dimensional plots of scientific and engineering data. • Manufacturing-related models. • Geometric fit of parts for engines or factory layouts. Medical models directly from the tomographic data. Models such as personalised prosthesis and dentures: reconstruction of bones, and skulls after traffic accidents and many other examples (18). • A new art form. • Conservation of historical artifacts (19). 7.8. Conclusions Rapid prototyping or low volume manufacture Is a new technological tool for manufactUring industry. It has brought with it a range of striking advantages such as: • Reduced lead time. from months and years to days and weeks for a given design cycle. This saving in time has been reckoned at 80% by (1). • Reduced costs: both through direct manufacturing savings due to reduced times and reduced wastage due to design faults and mistakes. • Improved quality oj the product the design stage can been so much more careful and may have several iterations before production. These iterations would have been too costly or time consuming to contemplate previously. Since this manufacturing style matches so well with the fashion sensitive markets of today and since rapid prototyp1ng or low volume manufactUring is dominated by laser techniques this could well be one of the major application areas of lasers in the future. References 1. Tromans G., Winpenny D. "Rapid manufactUring" Proc 4th Euro conf. on Rapid Prototyplng and Manuf .• BeIglrate Italy June 1995 pp27-41.
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