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Difference between direct and indirect rapid tooling process


Have you ever noticed that the fabrication industry has evolved a lot in the last decade? Do you find the reason behind this immense transformation? If not, then remember that it is all because of rapid tooling. This technology has increased the applications in a short time and therefore the industry has seen such a huge rise.

Rapid tooling is actually defined as the process involving the rapid prototyping techniques combined along with the traditional tools to offer molds at a faster rate. It also accesses the rapid prototyping processes directly to fabricate the tool. Because of the increasing demand for cheaper yet faster tools, a countless number of RT methods has been introduced and access throughout the world.

Benefits of rapid tooling:
* Tooling time and cost is lower when compared to the conventional tool
* The product brings into the current market previous than the planned time
* This tool is utilized for small quantity requirements including the rapid prototyping
* The rapid tooling facilitates different kinds of products manufactured in the large range of materials
* It helps to resolve the existing problems and used to develop molds for several commercial operations
* This tool is an effective method to produce quality products to customers and allows the organization to produce products with huge benefits



Rapid tooling is divided into two different types based on the manufacturing methods such as indirect and direct rapid tooling.

In direct rapid tooling, RT methods have been used for the straight production of molds and do not require any kind of specific pattern. The most techniques used in this type are LENS, direct AIM, DMLS, laminated tooling, a quick cast method, and much more.

Currently, indirect tooling method is the most common type of RI method. It is actually used for the purpose of prototyping, not for direct production methods. It is further classified into soft tooling and hard tooling according to the materials used.  Spray metal tooling, 3D keltool, and silicone rubber tooling are the techniques used in this tooling.

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