With the emergence of RP systems, the concept of Rapid Tooling (RT) has arrived. The challenge and greatest potential for RP lies in providing a direct integrated route to tooling through reduced lead-time and production cost. Even though Rapid Prototype parts may be produced directly in layers, most Rapid Toolings are produced indirectly (by using the RP part as the pattern) like Silicone Rubber Mould, Metal Spray Tooling etc. which are available at CMERI.

In Rapid Tooling, there are two categories:
1) Soft Tooling     
2) Bridge Tooling

Soft Tooling is made out of Silicon Rubber Resin and due to its flexibility it is called Soft Tooling (also called Silicon Rubber Mould). Silicon Rubber Mould is used to produce plastic prototype components (out of Polyurethane Resin) and in some cases wax patterns also for further Investment Casting.

Bridge Tooling is an intermediary between Soft Tooling and Hard Tooling, both on count of strength and production. Here the die is produced by spraying low melting alloys over the RP Master and by providing back up materials like Epoxy Resin around it. In comparison to Soft Tooling, this is a longer process and more durable, which can withstand limited injection pressure. Dies produced through this route die can be used for production of components of commercial plastics (can produce around 3000 pieces) and wax patterns for investment casting. This process may also be used for prototype sheet metal forming.

Wax component being taken out From the Silicon Rubber Mould Plastic and Wax parts from Silicon Rubber Mould TAFA Bridge Tooling Wax Part from Bridge Tooling

Vacuum Casting Machine

TAFA Metal Spraying Apparatus
Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute
Durgapur-713209, India