Rapid Prototyping in the Aerospace Industry
Rapid prototyping was introduced in the late 1980s and has since then contributed to many different industries, including aerospace. It has been incorporated in a variety of functions and processes within the sector and is used to shorten and streamline the development of a product in a cost-efficient manner – and in accordance with the industry’s exact demands.
What is Rapid Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping is not a single process. It refers to a set of different techniques that allow you to test what your manufactured parts will be capable of – and how to maximise their use. At its core, no matter which process is chosen, rapid prototyping can quickly produce any 3D objects into a model or prototype from a CAD file.
The processes lead to a reduction in the casting time and cost, as the designer can easily perform changes to the part and analyse it to verify its accuracy and validation.
Why Choose Rapid Prototyping in the Aerospace Industry?
Rapid prototyping can be used with different materials, meaning that you can manufacture a wide range of models with specific applications. Far from being just a prototype-builder, it now serves as a real solution in manufacturing and aerospace.
The quick turnaround and ability to perform changes without being costly make rapid prototyping attractive to many, as does the option to validate a product before full-scale manufacturing. In the aerospace industry in specific, these techniques allow the crafting of complex structures at a reduced cost and time scale.
These complex and innovative designs are a necessity in the industry, as crafts get smaller and more efficient, and without rapid prototyping, it would be challenging to assemble all the components needed.
The fact that rapid prototyping processes allow for low production volumes is also crucial, as it means that small volume trials of new materials can be performed. This is a fantastic way to advance the aerospace industry, given that it’s guided by innovation, quality and precision.
Dean Group and Rapid Prototyping
Here at Dean Group we have many years of experience and knowledge in manufacturing parts for a wide range of industries, including the aerospace sector. This means we understand the specifications the industry requires, and how critical it is to ensure that all parts are precise and of superior quality.
Our rapid prototyping processes, therefore, are specifically designed to ensure high-quality, high-integrity casts with good dimensional accuracy. We offer our customers two different processes to choose from: thermojet wax system and resin block tooling.
Thermojet wax system uses a 3D model to create a wax replica of a component, which is built in layers using thermojet, or printed, technology. Resin block tooling allows for the creation of samples from a low-cost resin material and, while it’s a slightly slower process than the thermojet wax system, it’s designed for clients who prefer higher volumes (10 to 15 test parts, for instance).
In the aerospace industry, rapid prototyping is used to evaluate the design variations of parts, the estimation of the surface quality of the model, the evaluation of the part itself through 3D visualisation and much more. The techniques inherent to rapid prototyping allow you to create first-rate components at lower rates – and with a precision that can match the industry’s requirements.
Contact Dean Group to learn more about our rapid prototyping processes and how they can benefit you and your project.‹ Back to NewsContact Us