Using novel rapid prototyping (RP) technology combined with established electroforming tehniques and electro-discharge machining (EDM), injection mould tools have been produced in days rather than weeks. These moulds are manufactured in new silicon-aluminium alloys developed by Osprey Metals, containing 50% or more silicon. The synthesis of these processes shows great potential for use in the rapid tooling sector.
The paper describes the application and integration of Design, Rapid Prototyping, Electroforming and Electro-Discharge Machining technologies to generate an injection mould tool in no more than five days (as opposed to weeks/months), and in materials not usually considered for such a process. It was originally published at the Rapid Tooling Conference 2002, and was noticed by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in the United States as being worthy of wider dissemination, hence invited to re-publish as an SME Technical Paper. Further publicity was gained in 'Plastics '