Prototypes

Prototypes
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Rapid prototyping is the creation of physical parts that reflect the design intention. These prototypes are made based on CAD drawings to assess the appearance or structure’s rationality. Typically, the first step is to evaluate the feasibility of a newly developed or designed product, relying on prototypes to identify flaws or abnormalities efficiently. This process helps improve product defects before mass production, saving material resources and time. Prototypes serve as a basis for mass production by allowing quick identification and improvement of design insufficiencies through appearance and functionality testing. Our factory, equipped with various manufacturing and processing equipment, employs professional craftsmen to produce intricate and creative product models according to customer needs, saving significant time.

Rapid prototyping
Rapid prototyping

What is the purpose of prototypes or why use prototypes?

  • In the prototyping industry, prototypes are created to evaluate the reasonableness of size, appearance, structure, etc., after completing the CAD drawing for a new product design. This process helps identify any deficiencies in the product design, which can then be appropriately modified. Prototyping involves integrating various processing methods to produce samples that meet our requirements, primarily through material addition and reduction techniques.
  • Structural Prototype: This prototype primarily evaluates the structural integrity of products, focusing on size requirements with relatively less emphasis on appearance. It’s subject to strict scrutiny in many countries.
  • Appearance Prototype: This prototype assesses the visual design of products, emphasizing exquisite appearance with lower internal treatment requirements. The interior can be solidified for demonstration purposes.
  • Functional Prototype: This type of prototype must replicate the appearance, structure, and functionality of real products, essentially serving as finished products. It’s the most demanding prototype, mainly used to validate the design of new products. These prototypes can be showcased at exhibitions or sold directly as finished products. They also play a crucial role in minimizing the risk associated with mass-production mold opening.
Rapid prototyping

Our advantages

Rapid prototyping
  • We offer a wide range of prototyping manufacturing methods, including 3D printing, CNC machining, Vacuum Casting (Urethane Casting), RIM, and more. With over a decade of experience in the prototype industry, we excel in producing various high-precision, complex prototypes. We provide free evaluations for future mass production possibilities and ensure each project is executed cost-effectively. There are no material restrictions, allowing us to accommodate diverse project needs.

Rapid Prototype Manufacturing Service

CNC machining

CNC machining

Sheet metal

Sheet metal

3D metal printing

3D metal printing

Vacuum casting

Vacuum casting

RIM and SLA / SLS

RIM and SLA / SLS

CNC Machining

CNC machining is highly suitable for a wide range of materials such as metal, plastic, wood, stone, glass, and composite materials. Thanks to its high precision, CNC machining can reproduce both the dimensional accuracy and appearance shape of a product almost identically to the drawing, often achieving a resemblance of up to 100%. Samples produced through CNC machining offer several advantages, including large forming size, high strength, good toughness, and low cost, making it a mainstream choice for prototype manufacturing. At Conovawell, we boast over 50 CNC machines, capable of machining sizes of up to 3000 × 1200 × 600mm.

CNC Machining
CNC Machining
  • The main processing methods for rapid prototyping include CNC machining, which utilizes computerized numerical control machines to cut materials according to programmed instructions. CNC milling machines are used for fabricating irregularly shaped products, while CNC lathes are employed for manufacturing round parts. CNC milling machines are capable of producing large parts at a lower cost compared to SLA (stereolithography) and are suitable for various types of prototypes. Common plastic materials used in rapid prototyping include ABS, PC, POM, and PMMA, while common metal materials include aluminum, steel, and copper. CNC machining offers high precision, with sizes of up to 3000 × 1200 × 600mm and an accuracy of approximately +-0.1mm. Click below for more details on CNC machining.

CNC Metal Machining (Parts)

CNC Metal Machining
CNC Metal Machining
CNC Metal Machining

CNC Plastic Machining(Parts)

CNC Plastic Machining
CNC Plastic Machining
CNC Plastic Machining
CNC Plastic Machining
CNC Plastic Machining
CNC Plastic Machining

Sheet Metal

Sheet metal refers to a comprehensive cold processing method for sheet metals, typically those less than 8mm in thickness. It involves various processes such as shearing, stamping, laser cutting, bending, welding, riveting, splicing, and forming. One notable characteristic of sheet metal is that it maintains uniform thickness within the same part. It finds widespread use in products like enclosures and covers. Sheet metal materials commonly used include aluminum, copper, steel, and other metal plates, while plastic materials can also be utilized for bending purposes. Click below for more details on sheet metal.

Sheet Metal

Silicone Mold Rapid Prototypes

(Vacuum Casting or Urethane Casting)

Silicone Mold Rapid Prototypes

Sheet metal processing encompasses various techniques for shaping thin metal sheets, typically those less than 8mm thick. These methods include shearing, stamping, laser cutting, bending, welding, riveting, splicing, and forming. One key attribute of sheet metal is its uniform thickness within the same component. It is widely utilized in manufacturing enclosures and covers for various products. Commonly used sheet metal materials include aluminum, copper, steel, and other metal plates, while plastic materials can also be bent for certain applications. For more detailed information on sheet metal processing, click below.

How to make a silicone mold

silicone mold

Low-pressure injection molding(RIM)

Materials like MDF (medium-density fiberboard), ABS, or POM undergo CNC machining for shaping before rapid tooling is created through specialized processes like heat treatment for thermal dispersion. Injection molding is then performed using low-pressure injection equipment.

Materials available include ABS, ABS + PP, PP, PMMA, and other molding materials. The maximum machining size is 2500 x 1000 x 1000mm. Mold options include silicone mold, resin mold, and aluminum mold. Suitable molds include ABS mold (for over 100 pieces), resin mold (for over 300 pieces), and aluminum alloy mold (for over 1000 pieces). Casting material comprises two-component polyurethane PU, with current materials including HD-PU4210, DCP-RIM, and AXSON-RIM 875. The physical properties resemble PP / ABS, featuring aging resistance, strong impact resistance, high anastomosis degree, and easy handling. Injection pressure is around 10MPa, with flow control at 600g/s. General working time is 15-30 minutes per piece. Demolding temperature can be controlled below 40 ℃, and post-demolding parts can be cured at 80 ℃ for 2-4 hours for optimal performance. Standard copy accuracy stands at ± 0.20mm/100mm. The recommended pouring thickness ranges from 4 to 6mm, with a maximum pouring thickness of 10mm. The largest pouring workpiece size is 2000mm x 1200mm x 1000mm, weighing up to 10kg.

Low-pressure injection molding

3D Metal printing

3D Metal printing

3D Metal printing, also known as Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), involves melting metal powder materials into three-dimensional shapes based on CAD drawings using a high-temperature nozzle. This process allows for the creation of products with intricate shapes that may be challenging or costly to produce using CNC machining. Conovawell offers a range of 3D metal printing materials, including stainless steel, aluminum alloy, and titanium alloy. Click here for more detailed information about our metal 3D printing service.

Aluminum rapid mold or mild steel rapid mold

We utilize CNC, EDM, high-speed EDM, and other equipment to fabricate molds from metal and hard materials like aluminum or low-carbon steel. These molds have a lifespan of over 10,000 uses. Our rapid tooling service covers a range of plastic materials including ABS, PC, PP, POM, PMMA, and more. Click here for a detailed introduction to our rapid tooling service.

Aluminum rapid mold

From prototype to production

We provide a comprehensive one-stop service to fulfill your low-volume production requirements. At Conovawell, we specialize in small-batch manufacturing, catering to industries requiring anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands of pieces. Our services cover everything from the prototype stage to low-volume manufacturing, extending to final formal mass production.

prototype to production

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