Current situation and development trend of rapid tooling technology
rapid tooling technology is a fast, convenient and practical mold manufacturing technology. It is produced with the development of industrial production, and has been widely valued by product developers and mold industry. The research on it is in the ascendant, and new technological achievements continue to emerge, showing a vigorous development trend and strong vitality. The remarkable characteristics of rapid molding technology are: short molding cycle, simple process, easy promotion, low molding cost, accuracy and service life can meet certain requirements, and the product function obtained depends on their specific functional needs of three-dimensional shape. It has good comprehensive economic benefits, and is especially suitable for new product development and trial production, process verification and function verification, and multi variety and small batch production.
in foreign countries, the research on rapid tooling technology has a history of decades. Many companies in many industrial developed countries, such as the United States, Britain, Japan, Switzerland and other countries, have conducted in-depth research on all kinds of rapid tooling, and have been applied in many fields. Since the 1960s, China has also begun to recognize the practical value of rapid molding technology, and has invested in research. In the 1970s, with the proposal of the four modernizations, rapid molding technology received the attention of government departments and developed to a certain extent, but in the era of planned economy, the development speed was relatively slow. Since the reform and opening up, the competition among enterprises has become increasingly fierce, and the product development cycle is required to be shorter and shorter, which provides development opportunities and development space for rapid molding technology. In the 1980s, rapid molding technology played an important role in the development of China's economy, especially in the development of the automotive industry, and made brilliant achievements. However, with the continuous emergence of modern high technology and the improvement of people's aesthetic outlook, people's concept of product quality and sample quality in the development stage has changed greatly, and the traditional rapid molding technology has been seriously challenged. The author has been engaged in the application research of rapid molding technology since the early 1980s. Now I talk about my own views on the current situation and development trend of rapid molding technology in China. Development status of rapid prototyping technology
1. The development of traditional rapid prototyping technology is seriously restricted. Traditional rapid prototyping technology can be summarized as follows: 1 Low melting point (BI SN) alloy molding technology; 2. Zinc base alloy molding technology; 3. Composite molding technology; 4. Spray molding technology; 5. Electroforming molding technology; 6. Copper based alloy molding technology, etc. The traditional rapid tooling technology mostly adopts the copy method (such as casting, spraying, electroforming, composite material pouring, etc.) based on the sample mold (master mold) to manufacture the main working parts of the mold (convex, concave mold or mold cavity, mold core). For this reason, the sample mold (master mold) has become the key to rapid mold manufacturing, and the precision of the sample mold directly determines the precision of the mold. The traditional sample mold making methods mostly adopt the original modification or manual knocking and manual engraving. The process is backward and the accuracy is very low, which directly affects the accuracy of the rapid tooling. Therefore, people often think that the precision of rapid tooling is low. The so-called speed is at the expense of precision, and can only be used in occasions with low precision requirements. This understanding and understanding is obviously unfair. The replication accuracy of traditional rapid tooling technology is very high. As long as the sample mold accuracy is solved, the mold accuracy will naturally meet the cutting edge solution. Therefore, how to improve the precision of the sample mold has become the key to the further development of the rapid molding technology, and it is also an important topic that we need to solve. 2. The traditional rapid tooling market is shrinking
the traditional rapid tooling technology is based on. Therefore, the sample mold accuracy that they help to achieve efficient battery thermal management data has not been fundamentally breakthrough, which directly restricts its development, but also affects its market competitiveness and market share. In the early 1980s, China's automobile industry was in the initial stage of great development. Due to the low starting point, small batch and many varieties at that time, the traditional rapid molding technology adapted to this situation and was widely used in small batch production and achieved remarkable results. According to incomplete statistics, there were hundreds of agricultural vehicle manufacturers using rapid molding technology in the 1980s. This is enough to illustrate the brilliance of rapid molding technology. However, since the 1990s, with the establishment and development of the concept of economies of scale, the traditional rapid tooling has retreated from the production field to steel mold due to its short service life and low precision, and the rapid tooling market has gradually shrunk. 3. New rapid molding technologies continue to emerge
under the situation that the traditional rapid molding technology is seriously challenged and the market is seriously shrinking, new rapid molding methods continue to emerge. (1) Full mold casting technology is widely used in automobile mold manufacturing. (2) As a new type of elastic element, nitrogen spring can effectively simplify the mold structure and realize the rapid manufacturing of mold. It has been widely used in automobile mold. (3) Dieless multi-point forming technology breaks through the traditional concept of molding, uses highly adjustable punch groups to replace the traditional mold for sheet metal surface forming, and takes cad/cam/cat technology as the main technical means to quickly realize the automatic forming of three-dimensional surfaces. Dieless multi-point forming technology is another advanced rapid manufacturing technology that is different from the traditional rapid tooling technology. A fixed horizontal base is installed on the fast column. (4) Rotary casting forming technology, which uses heat hardened silicone rubber to quickly manufacture molds, and uses rotary casting system to cast high-strength zinc aluminum alloy, aluminum tin alloy, etc. This technology can realize the rapid manufacturing of some specific parts. II. Development trend of rapid molding technology
it is an indisputable fact that the development of traditional rapid molding technology is challenged and the market is gradually shrinking. However, this did not hinder the development of rapid molding technology, but more stimulated people's desire to change this situation. The work around improving the precision of the sample mold has never stopped. With the development of computer technology, numerical control technology, laser forming technology and material science, people try to use modern high technology to explore methods to improve the accuracy of sample mold. People use Machinable plastics and light profiling milling to mill the main model or process main model, which is used as the mother mold for rapid mold manufacturing. Although this method improves the precision of the sample mold, it has long processing cycle, high cost, and high dependence on NC processing equipment, and the effect is not ideal in practical application. At the end of the decade, rapid prototype manufacturing (RP) was first introduced in the United States. RP technology is produced with the development of computer technology, laser forming technology and new material technology. It is a new manufacturing technology. It is based on the novel discrete/accumulation (i.e. material accumulation) forming idea, and can quickly and automatically complete the manufacturing of complex three-dimensional entities (prototypes) according to the CAD model of parts. RP technology is a high-tech technology that integrates the latest development of precision machinery manufacturing, computer, NC technology, laser forming technology and material science. It is comparable to the NC manufacturing technology that appeared in the 1960s. It is recognized as another technological revolution after NC technology. The emergence of rapid prototyping manufacturing technology (RP) has created conditions for the development of rapid tooling technology. The introduction of RP technology can be said to be the best example of the combination of traditional rapid tooling technology and modern advanced manufacturing technology. RP technology injects vitality into the traditional rapid molding technology, and at the same time, the traditional rapid molding technology provides a technical guarantee for the popularization and application of RP technology. To sum up, the combination of rapid tooling technology and rapid prototyping manufacturing technology will be the direction of further development of traditional rapid tooling manufacturing technology, and it is also a broad application field of RP technology to rapid tooling. With the progress of modern technology, the traditional rapid tooling technology will gain new vitality, especially in the development of high-end technical products, and will play a greater role
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