February 8, 2021

What You Need to Know About Aluminum Rapid Prototyping

Aluminum’s popularity as a raw material for manufacturing is well known. But it is also a very popular medium for engineers to use for rapid prototyping for new products.

What is Aluminum Rapid Prototyping?

In today’s fast-paced competitive marketplace, a short time to market for new products is critical for success. But that doesn’t prevent errors from being made during the product development phase. Products that appear good on paper may end up having functional problems or even aesthetic challenges. And this a costly problem if your company has already sent the product on for mass production. So the ability to create a working prototype is essential to make sure that the product works as designed and has a good design that will appeal to your target customers.

Engineer designing a new design for an aluminum rapid prototyping product

For this reason, rapid prototyping should be a critical part of your new product engineering process. An excellent aluminum extrusion company has an onsite lab with the proper tooling equipment such as a CNC machine shop, sheet metal stamping equipment, and experienced capable engineers on staff to help with the process.

Why Use Aluminum Rapid Prototyping?

Aluminum is a great medium for rapid prototyping for several reasons. It is inexpensive, has an excellent strength to weight ratio, and is better suited for testing designs in a real-world environment. Another benefit of using aluminum for prototyping is that aluminum extrusion dies can be designed to handle an almost endless variety of shapes, sizes, and thicknesses at a fraction of the cost of doing it in metals such as the various grades of steel.

An aluminum extrusion die can also be designed and produced in a rapid one or two weeks instead of the twelve weeks (or more) necessary for setting up tooling for castings and injection molding.

Who Uses Aluminum Rapid Prototyping?

Because aluminum is so widely used for manufacturing products across many industries, a rapid prototyping process is often considered to be a dress rehearsal for the product’s mass production. For this reason, many industries use it extensively, including:

  • Electronics– Many electronics industry components such as heat sinks, component brackets, cases, and many other thermal management parts are manufactured from aluminum. This makes rapid prototyping for these parts and products an excellent fit to include in the product development process.
  • Aerospace & Defense– These industries use aluminum for many parts, structural components, enclosures, and more.
  • Automotive– This industry relies on aluminum for the high-volume production of parts such as panels, interior trim, and other hardware.
  • Mold Making– Aluminum works well for creating carbon fiber or thermal forming molds for these processes because it is a lot less expensive and time-consuming than constructing an injection mold.

Looking for an Excellent Aluminum Rapid Prototyping Company?

Look no further than Getec Industrial. We provide high-quality aluminum extrusion services and work with our North American Engineering Division to develop aluminum prototypes for numerous products across a wide range of industries. To learn more, call us at 888-999-8499, contact us online, or send us an email to sales@getecna.com.