3D Metal Prototyping at Maca Supply Company

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Maca Supply Company offers rapid metal prototyping of various metals like Hi Chrome, Gray Iron, Ductile Iron, Steel, and Stainless Steel. We own high-quality equipment to perform the rapid prototyping process of different metals successfully. Thanks to our metallurgists for carefully handling the metal 3D printing and making us one of Utah's top metal prototyping companies.

What is Metal Rapid Prototyping?

In any manufacturing process, prototypes in general, are the rough draft of the final product. The prototypes are built away earlier before the product design starts. The product designers and developers use these prototypes to test and develop the final product.

There are various types of prototypes based on the materials used to create them. They are made from multiple metal manufacturing techniques like CNC machining, casting, or sheet metal forming and are manufactured from any metal materials chosen by the metallurgists in the foundry.
Metal rapid prototyping is a manufacturing technology used to turn metal designs into solid 3D objects. 3D prototyping is one of the fastest metal prototyping can produce prototypes in just weeks. It is heavily used in the industrial applications of automotive, medical, industrial equipment, consumer products, oil & gas, aerospace & defense, and dies & tools.

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Why Opt for Metal Prototypes?

Sometimes engineers usually tend to prepare plastic prototypes for metal objects to reduce the overall cost required to design the prototype. This can be done only when characteristics like strength, flexibility, and conductivity are unimportant to develop the final metal design.
But, we at Maca Supply Company, as a well-known cats foundry in Utah, mainly deal with only functional prototyping of the metals. This type of prototyping helps in a detailed analysis of the material characteristics of any metal. Also, metal prototypes are easy to convert into final metal parts when compared to plastic prototypes. This escalates the chances of early investment and commercial success.

The 3D Metal Prototyping Process we Follow at Our Foundry.

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Create CAD design

The first step of the metal prototyping process is scanning the metal object with a 3D object scanner. Once the machine scans the thing, it creates a 3D model of the object in CAD.

Analyzing the CAD model

Once the design is scanned, the designers analyze the 3D model created. This is to identify any design flaws in the CAD model and work on the design modifications if required. The changes can sometimes be adding support structures where there is a risk of breakage. The CAD model is converted to an STL file, and the object is sliced into 2D layers stacked on top of one another. The STL file is then transferred to the printer using custom machine software.

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Metal 3D printing

After the file is loaded into the printer, materials are loaded, and the printer is set up with printing parameters. The 3D printer builds the model by depositing material layer-by-layer. After the first layer of the physical model is done, the 3D printing machine creates another layer of powder on top of the first layer. This process is repeated until the model is completed.

Stress relieving heat treatment process

Stress-relieving is a process carried out on metal products to minimize residual stresses in the metal structure. These stresses are absorbed by the metal from forming, straightening, machining, or rolling. Doing this reduces the risk of dimensional changes during post-processing or final use of the component. Stress-relieving is usually done after rough machining and before final finishing, such as polishing or grinding

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Post-processing

For post-processing, the prototype is removed from the machine. Any supports that are in the product are also detached. Moreover, prototypes may require cleaning and surface treatment such as sanding, bead blasting, sealing, or painting to improve appearance and durability. Bead blasting is a metal cleaning process used to remove surface deposits by applying delicate glass beads at high pressure without damaging the surface.

These are all you need to know about the 3D Metal Prototyping at Maca Supply Company. Reach us to know more details about the services we offer. We are just a call away to serve our customers.