Rapid Prototype Casting and CNC Machining
Although rapid prototyping is often associated with 3-D printing, it is not limited to this one technology. For non-ferrous metal parts, rapid prototyping now encompasses many manufacturing technologies that include 3-D printing, CNC machining, and various metal casting processes. So, if you’re looking for a quick turnaround on an aluminum, magnesium, or zinc prototype, consider a CNC machined part or a CNC machined casting produced by Precise Cast.
Precise Cast does employ 3-D printing but uses it to supplement our rapid prototype casting process, 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 alone can produce.
We can deliver a first article machined castings in 1-2 weeks on many designs. More complex and involved designs are delivered in 3-5 weeks.
Precise Cast Castings manufactures “real” metal castings in aluminum, magnesium, and zinc alloys ONLY. We also provide rapid prototype CNC-machined parts in many metals and engineered plastics. The result: industry-leading turnaround time while still maintaining the highest quality standards.
What to look for:
Many rapid prototype machine shops 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. If you’re looking for non-ferrous metal castings, 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 do provide die cast prototype, but they are tooled and manufactured by one of our business partners. Their focus is on die casting. Our Rapid Prototyping processes consist of plaster mold casting, sand mold casting, and CNC machined prototypes. In addition to CNC machining all of the castings we produce, we also CNC machine all of the die castings that are produced by our business partner.
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 founded 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”.
This allows us to deliver castings and CNC machined parts to you in Rapid Prototyping timeframes.
4. Does the company have in-house CNC 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 on-the-job training 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 allows us to coordinate all required resources to deliver your parts, as planned.
Why Precise Cast Castings & Machined Parts?
We have that rare combination of experience, speed, and quality in our chosen fields: CNC machining and prototype and low-volume production non-ferrous castings. The result is your parts are delivered In-Full, On-Time, and In-Spec.
Please contact us today to discuss your Rapid Prototype project!