Rapid Prototyping (RP) can be defined as a group of techniques used to quickly fabricate a scale model of a part or assembly using three-dimensional computer aided design (CAD) data. RP has also been referred to as solid free-form manufacturing, computer automated manufacturing, and layered manufacturing.
Once a scale model is created, RTV rubber, such as the Hapflex™ 500 Series or silicone, is poured over the model to create a mold, commonly called tooling. Duplicate parts can be obtained using two component liquid plastics such as the Ultralloy™ & Tuffalloy™ Series. A prototype often undergoes numerous tests and alterations before production tooling is made, which can be quite expensive for injection molding. Traditional injection molding can be less expensive for manufacturing hundreds of thousands of parts, but Liquid Molding™ has proven to be faster and less expensive when producing hundreds, even thousands of parts. With equipment like the RAPIDFIL™ and MINIFIL™, Liquid Molders have the ability to use faster products that gel in seconds and can be de-molded in only a few minutes. The meter-mix equipment needed for this type of processing are portable and relatively inexpensive, Liquid Molding can be done in-house and design changes can be made easily.
Hapco, Inc. has helped numerous companies bring production in-house, decrease their cycle times, and increase their profits at much lower upfront costs.