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Rapid Prototyping Manufacturing

Definition: Rapid prototyping is a group of techniques used to quickly fabricate a scale model of a physical part or assembly using three-dimensional computer aided design (CAD) data. Construction of the part or assembly is usually done using 3D printing or “additive layer manufacturing” technology. – Wikipedia

PCPE also employs 3D printing, but uses it to supplement its rapid prototype casting processes, where appropriate. That allows us to manufacture castings that are either outside of the realm of traditional cope and drag techniques (even with cores) or are much more accurate and consistent than some of the traditional metal casting methods. In addition we bring our casting and machining knowledge base and skills into play to deliver REAL castings in RP time. We can deliver first article machined castings in 1-2 weeks on many designs. More complex and involved designs are delivered in 3-5 weeks.
This is dependent on
two primary factors:

  1. Shop loading
  2. Complexity

Various sectors/segments:

RPs take many forms including plastics, sintered metal, and metal castings.

Our sectors/segments:

Precise Cast focuses solely on one area of rapid prototype manufacturing; we manufacture “real” metal castings in aluminum, magnesium, and zinc alloys ONLY. This allows us to optimize ALL of our resources and focus them in ONE direction. The result: industry-leading turnaround time for moderate-to-complex non-ferrous castings while still maintaining the highest quality standards.

What to look for:

Many may make similar claims. Here are four things to look for while you’re separating the rapid prototyping metal casting wannabes from the real thing:

  1. Is the company’s focus on non-ferrous metal castings?
    Ferrous and non-ferrous are two completely different worlds.
  2. Does the company also make die-cast parts?
    While it seems beneficial to work with a company that might be the production supplier for your parts, often prototypes are a sideline and a distraction away from the main business: die cast parts. They are rarely set up for speed and quality for prototype and low-volume (non-die cast) production. We can refer you to excellent production die casters, on request.
  3. Was the company designed from the ground up for speed and quality?
    Many metal casting companies have been around for decades. While that may be comforting from some perspectives, often they are shackled by legacy systems and processes. We have been operating for over 10 years. Our company was founding in the computer age and utilizes advanced engineering and CAD approaches in all aspects of production. Our mantra from day one has been/is speed and quality.
  4. Does the company have an in-house machining capability to machine the castings it makes?
    It’s no secret in the casting industry; many machine shops and machinists do not like to machine castings. Why? They’re more difficult and unforgiving than a billet machined part of similar design and style.
    It’s also no secret that many machine shops will accept any work that comes through the door. Unfortunately (for them), castings take knowledge and experience to machine properly. Your casting project will become OJT for their machinists. That’s not in your favor.
    PCPE lives and breathes castings. It’s what we do. Having that capability in-house also allow us to coordinate all required resources to deliver your parts, as planned.


We have that rare combination of experience, knowledge, speed, and quality in our chosen field: prototype and low-volume production non-ferrous castings. The result is your parts are delivered In-Full, On-Time, and In-Spec.