Aluminum is said to exhibit low density but higher strength, the strength that surpasses that of high-quality steel. It also has excellent plasticity, high resistance to corrosion as well as exceptional electroplating and welding characteristics. Aluminum being relatively cheap and abundant in nature reduces the overhead cost due to faulty production or prototypes wasted due to bad design. It can also be easily recycled which further aids in cheaper manufacturing. This material also has high toughness and less deformation after manufacturing, making it an ideal material to be used by many companies for prototyping purposes.
How is Aluminum Rapid Prototyping Carried Out?
As discussed earlier, there are a number of traditional and modern ways to have your prototype come into existence. Here we will be discussing the CNC manufacturing technique for Aluminum rapid prototyping.
Depending on what sort of machine you are using for the CNC of prototype, determines what process you have to carry out for effective aluminum prototyping. Generally, you have to feed in the system with a CAD product design and have it converted to vectors so that the machine can read off the coordinates. Once the file is uploaded and the vectors are traced, the tool and the tool path are selected to cut the block into shape. It can be a .75-inch core box bit or .25-inch v-bit. Along with the cutting depth for the aluminum prototyping, the speed of cutting can also be altered.
Once the tool, its speed and the depth are selected, the toolpath is then fed to the CNC machine. You can either cut outside the vectors, inside the vectors or trace the vectors. The method of cutting varies drastically and is based upon the machinist, the machine and the design complexity. The vectors are then converted to G-code and the centre of the block is determined. The CNC router is jogged right at the centre of the block and touches the face of it. This point is set and termed as absolute zero. The CNC machine then reads off the G-code and starts the prototyping process.
When machining aluminum, one of the biggest failure modes that exist is its flakes adhering to the cutting edge of the tool. This degrades the cutting ability which adversely affects the prototyping output. The cutting tool and material coating on the tool, both are carefully selected in order to reduce the chances of aluminum build up on the cutting tool.
|CNC Machines max||1400 * 1200 * 1000mm|
|Metal Material||Aluminum, Magnesium, Zinc and Brass|
|Production Method||CNC Aluminum 6061 rapid machinimg|
|CNC Material||Aluminum 6061, Aluminum 5052, Aluminum 7075, Aluminum 6063, Aluminum 5083|
|Finish||Debur, Polish Smooth, sand blasting, Anodizing.|