WHY DO YOU NEED FINISHING FOR PROTOTYPE
Often, the difference between a good prototype and a great prototype is the finishing.
Once the part have been shaped with raw material using CNC machining, SLA , SLS, or Vacum Casting, quite often the part is presenting some small imperfection or are not the color you would like to get them.
For this reason the rapid prototyping process is quite often made in two or three step:
Step 1: making the shaped
Step 2: perfecting the shaped
Step 3: enhancing the part
Step 1 is made by CNC, SLA, SLS, and Vacum casting
Step 2: is made by people who are going to manually polish the part one by one with tool or sand paper for example to remove any potential remaining dent or any other imperfection on your part. This process is usually the most time consuming one during rapid prototyping process and is quite common to all the process (CNC, SLA, SLS, Vacum Casting)
Step 3: One the part is polished and perfectly as it should be (after dimensioning control have been performed), we can finalize the part by giving the appearance that you want. For plastic, it may be painting, added with printing. For metal, it may be anodizing, electroplaiting, or coating
METAL AND PLATIC PART FINISHING
In order to enhance or fit with requirement of metal part being prototyped, the following finishing can be performed on metal parts:
- Powder coating
- Laser engraving
- Silk screening
- Pad Printing
Metallic electroplating is a kind of surface finish to protect the metal surface from rust.
Anodizing is another kind of surface finish we can offer for aluminum parts to protect surface.
In some case the paint have to be special like to realize some shielding for electronic and the thickness of the paint have to be tightly controled.
In order to perform fast and efficient drying, the finishing are performed in clean environment and using UV light.
To perform logo marking, we have several possibilities to do so depending on the surface configuration where the logo has to be marked. If the surface is flat then we mostly use silk screen. However if the surface is curved, then we may use pad printing technich.
This post is also available in: French