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Rapid Prototyping (RP) - Rapid Tooling (RT) - Direct AIM

 

 

Rapid Tooling Techniques

Direct AIM (ACES Injection Moulding)

Direct AIM Direct AIM (ACES Injection Moulding) is a new and vitally important rapid tooling process to quickly and inexpensively build prototype parts using a variety of engineering thermoplastics in a very short time (as short as one week) without the need for production tooling. The process involves growing the mold on a SLA system, using the ACES buildstyle, that is shelled out on the bottom side. This leaves a cavity in the mold halves that can be backfilled with various materials. These material include aluminum-filled epoxy, ceramics, and low-melting metals. The backfilling process provides a thermal conduit for the heat exchange system, as well as integrates the cooling system that may be put into the mold halves.

The mold halves are mated and aligned, and the part surfaces are finished for surface quality. Using extended cycle times and a release agent, numerous parts can be made by directly injecting the final thermoplastic into the ACES mold core and cavity halves using a standard injection-molding machine.


 

Specifications

Production Time:

A Direct AIM mold can typically be grown and processed in 1 to 2 weeks.

Tool Life Expectancies:

Less than 100 parts. Life of the tool is a function of the thermoplastic material and part complexity. Some molds can create as few as 10 parts, while other can exceed 100. The molds can have a dynamic failure, but typically gradually degrade with each shot.

Accuracy

Tolerances of between 0.005-0.015 inches can be achieved.


 

 




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