Reducing Lead time with Rapid Prototyping

AATC is a leading producer of Rapid Prototype aluminum and steel investment castings

AATC is here to meet all of your Rapid Prototyping needs. We are able to produce castings in as little as 4 weeks by converting patterns using the Stereolithography (SLA) Rapid Prototyping method and eliminating the delays required to manufacture traditional metal tooling. Geometry is virtually limitless and allows for such details as fins, pins, and complex, integrally cast cores. This process is extensively used by design engineers in the development of new products, allowing designers to go directly from a CAD file to a fully functional aluminum and/or steel casting. The method is flexible and allows the use of different RP patterns from a variety of processes.

Traditional Lost-wax Process

The traditional lost-wax process involves the manufacture of a metal tool (die) which typically takes 6-14 weeks depending on part complexity.

Wax is then injected into the die to produce the wax pattern which is subsequently gated and coated with ceramic shell to build a ceramic mold.

The wax pattern is melted out (hence lost wax) and metal is then poured into the empty mold resulting in the casting.

Finished Casting in 10-18 weeks

Rapid Prototype Process

The rapid prototype pattern is built from a CAD design and substituted for the wax pattern. This takes from 1-2 weeks.

The RP pattern is subsequently gated and coated with shell material. After shelling the RP pattern is eliminated from the mold using special procedures.

The remaining production stages follow the traditional lost wax process, producing a finished casting with the rapid prototype pattern.

Finished Casting in 4-5 weeks