Prototype Tooling Alternatives : LUSENET : Retama : One Thread

The following message was sent to Craft Pattern and Model, Inc. They caught my eye because of their diverse capbilities. Perhaps they are a place to start with alternatives to PCM's route. --- Subject: Prototype tooling for twin sheet thermoforming Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 14:02:21 -0700 From: To:

I am inquiring about your abilities and experience in fabricating prototype tooling for the thermoforming process. I consult for a company that is developing new markets for a twin sheet thermoformed material. Each new endeavor requires rapid prototyping of the proposed product made this new way. Currently, 2-d autocad files are sent to a tool maker where they are used to make a 3-d mold file to drive a machining center. The machining is done on a resin material that is easily cut, but not particularly durable in thin webs in light of the contact it must have with the hot plastic that is pulled around delicate features by the vacuum. A couple things come to mind. Perhaps the rapid prototype machines can make, as your site suggests, a quick route to cast aluminum tools. Or maybe to a resin tool (epoxy, etc.) that works with thermoforming. The other thought comes from a recent trade magazine press release from a company that makes, for injection molding I recall, tooling that is flame spray metal over plastic, though I don't know that that is necessary for thermoforming heats and pressure. Now that I think of it, I've read of reports of injection molding in plastic tools. Please contact me to discuss this. Thank you. Regards, Randy Ohman, for Skydex ( 210-310-7085 at my day job (Lancer Corp.) 210-310-7096 fax, also Lancer or at this email --- No one has responded yet. Visit them directly at There they have a thorough company contact page for further communications.

-- Anonymous, July 21, 1998

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