Mold is essential In the process of product design. Rapid tooling is a relatively new method of molding to produce sample parts in a relatively short period through the computer, CNC technology, and other means.

In the production of products, it does not need to use traditional tools, so the period of product development is greatly shortened. It significantly improves the speed of product updates, thus helping enterprises reduce the risk of investment in the new product.

What is rapid tooling?

Rapid tooling is also known as prototype tooling or soft tooling. However, it is essentially an injection mold, a tool that can be used to produce large quantities of parts quickly and cheaply. Rapid tooling is only chosen when there is a 90% certainty of success in a product development project.

What are the advantages of rapid tooling?

The main reason for making rapid tooling is to test and validate parts during the prototyping phase of new product development.

While other prototyping processes, such as 3D printing, CNC machining, or vacuum casting, can often result in faster and cheaper prototypes, the main advantages of rapid prototyping lie in the process and materials.

1. Rapid tooling can use production-grade materials

Rapid tooling can use actual materials to help customers better understand if the parts meet the standards in actual production, allowing you to test and confirm that you have made the right material choices.

We can also use rapid tooling to test production parameters in a way that allows engineers and designers to see many previously unnoticed defects and implement redesigns or other measures to prevent problems with the final part.

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2. Rapid tooling is fast and efficient

There are many other reasons to choose rapid tooling, besides the already mentioned prototyping and testing, the main one is the low cost of manufacturing injection molded parts. It is also fast and efficient.

The speed advantage allows companies to get parts to market more quickly, while the rapid tooling can be applied to mass production and the cost advantage makes market testing possible.

Why is steel mold the most widely used type of rapid tooling mold?

Aluminum molds are considered cheaper and faster than steel ones. The trend in the industry, however, is toward steel molds. Aluminum molds are too soft for rapid tooling, which is the main reason. The part quality is not as good as that made by steel mold. The secondary treatment will take longer.

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In addition, the cost of steel molds for rapid tooling is not as costly as people think so. It is just a little bit higher than aluminum molds.

Generally speaking, the insiders in the industry prefer steel molds in rapid tooling.

Tips for making rapid tools faster?

In terms of how to make a rapid mold, it majorly depends on the design of the part. There are some tips for the design to make rapid tooling as the following. 

1. Use standard mold bases and only change the inserts

2. Reduce additional processes such as EDM

3. Use low-cost components

Final words

At X Rapid Technologies, we offer result-oriented solutions to help customers get the best outcome. Don’t hesitate to come to us with your design. We are here to help!