Epoxy-based composite molds are frequently used for polymer and wax materials injection. Three kinds of epoxy-based composite mold inserts fabrication methods are proposed in this work. A simple and cost-effective method for fabricating epoxy-based composite mold inserts of propeller using rapid prototyping and rapid tooling technique is demonstrated. The advantages of this method include high successful rate of mold fabrication, low-cost, and good surface roughness of the mold inserts. This method can be employed in the intermediate tooling to produce a small quantity of working samples by plastic injection molding at the first development stage for a new product. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Layered manufacturing technologies have been used to produce complex parts of diversified materials through different physical/chemical manufacturing principles. Nevertheless only a few materials are commercially available to build parts suitable for engineering applications. In this paper, the powder fusion of H13 tool steel is investigated. A high power Nd:YAG pulsed laser source on a CNC machine was used to fuse the powder, layer by layer, building solid cubes for further analysis. Four different laser vector scanning strategies were evaluated by comparing the results of porosity and layer distortion. The complexity of the laser/powder interaction shows that a complex strategy must be used to avoid porosity and distortion. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
International Journal of Production Research. 8/15/2006, Vol. 44 Issue 16, p3325-3343. 19p. 1 Chart.
Prototypes, Manufacturing processes, Product design, Industrial design, Manufactures, Technology, and Case studies
Current research by the developers of rapid prototyping systems is generally focused on improvements in cost, speed and materials to create truly economic and practical economic rapid manufacturing (RM) machines. In addition to being potentially smarter/faster/cheaper replacements for existing manufacturing technologies, the next generation of these machines will provide opportunities not only for the design and fabrication of products without traditional constraints but also for organizing manufacturing activities in new, innovative and previously undreamt of ways. This paper outlines a novel devolved manufacturing (DM) ‘factory-less’ approach to e-manufacturing, which integrates mass customization (MC) concepts, RM technologies and the communication opportunities of the Internet/World Wide Web, describes two case studies of different DM implementations and discusses the limitations and appropriateness of each, and, finally, draws some conclusions about the technical, manufacturing and business challenges involved. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]