"Nickel electroformed" tools development through stereolithography (SLA) for sheet metal forming~An evaluation study
Currently, advancements in Rapid Prototyping (RP) technologies have led to considerable amount of research activities and has been playing a major role in the area of tooling development for which Rapid Tooling (RT) term was coined. While rapid prototyping techniques are employed to make prototype tools, the basic idea of the rapid tooling is to produce prototype and zero series parts by using prototype tools so the parts truly represent the future production. This paper will present an evaluation of a RP and RT technique in developing tools (punch and dies) for sheet metal forming, which had been manufactured and tested. Both punch and die have been manufactured by combining Stereolithography (SL), RP technique, with nickel electroforming process. The stereolithography technique that had been utilized in developing models for the tools had been built with modeling pattern called Accurate Clear Epoxy Solid (ACES).