Original Date: 04/07/1997
Revision Date: 04/14/2003
Information : Rapid Prototyping
Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) has deployed rapid prototyping and casting practices using CAD and modeling techniques, casting simulation and rapid prototyping technologies for design, value engineering, technical assistance, production planning, and pattern and mold making. The rapid prototyping and casting practices reduce manufacturing times, costs, and associated risks of both prototype and small production runs. Through teaming with subject matter experts, RIA is able to develop, visualize, and analyze proposed product designs prior to product fabrication, and make or buy full-scale physical prototypes of various materials it uses directly or indirectly for investment and sand casting molds. This practice has allowed RIA to validate product baseline drawings, identify and correct drawing errors, design castings and tooling, manufacture patterns and molds, and avoid costly manufacturing start-up costs.
RIA has demonstrated that the use of CAD and simulation of proposed product lines are proactive tools for determining risks associated with manufacturing processes. These tools have proven to be a cost effective means to streamline manufacturing processes, detect processing problems before they occur, and enhance productive communication among the engineers, production personnel, and customers. RIA has also demonstrated that prototype and small lot investment and sand castings can be shipped in about two months.
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