Rapid prototyping is a term that is used frequently when discussing 3D printing, and it would be easy to think that the two are synonymous. 3D printing is only one type of rapid prototyping, however, in a group of technologies that also includes CNC machining. CNC machining is sort of the flip side of additive manufacturing – it builds an object by milling away layers of material, rather than adding them on. The two technologies are frequently used side by side – literally, as several machines exist that combine a 3D printer with a CNC mill. Often, CNC machining is used as a way to finish a 3D printed part, trimming away the excess material.
WayKen Rapid Manufacturing offers several rapid prototyping technologies, including SLA and SLS 3D printing, vacuum casting, rapid injection molding, and CNC machining of both metal and plastic. Based in Shenzhen, China, WayKen is one of the most experienced rapid prototyping companies in the country. Its services extend to several industries, including product design, automotive, medical devices, and product development. Applications for WayKen’s technologies include:
- Prototype concept models
- Visual presentation prototypes
- Functional and working prototypes
- Design and engineering verification
- Low-volume manufacturing
While WayKen offers several technologies, its main focus is on CNC machining, and it offers more than 10 high precision, high efficiency CNC machining centers. The company has teams of expert programmers and engineers for both plastic and metal machining, and also offers finishing services for all machined parts. WayKen emphasizes precision, quality and speed, with turnaround times of 3-9 days.
“WayKen’s low cost CNC rapid prototyping capabilities enable us to produce the finest, highly accurate visual design models, full-functional engineering plastic prototypes, metal prototypes, and master patterns,” the company says. “Fast turnaround and high quality CNC prototyping models can be achieved with a wide variety of materials including plastic, metals and other composites material.”
WayKen offers CNC machining for both prototypes and final production parts. The company prides itself on its ability to machine extremely precise parts, and it has proven that ability in several cases that involved complex components. Parts that WayKen has successfully machined and delivered include a car headlight assembly, a medical device enclosure, an automotive air conditioner control panel, and several intricate printer components.
One of WayKen’s main services is machining acrylic and polycarbonate. This includes the machining of clear, optical components. Automotive lighting prototyping, in fact, is one of WayKen’s specialties, and that’s just one example of the company’s ability to machine flawless surfaces. In terms of metal, aluminum is a focus, although the company also offers machining of several other metals including magnesium, zinc, titanium, steel and stainless steel.
“Low volume CNC aluminum is what we usually do to save your money and time on complex 3D parts compared to production by other methods like casting or molding when the quantities is less than casting but more than prototype,” the company states.
WayKen’s plastic prototyping and metal machining take place in two separate factories; its facilities comprise 20,000 square feet in total. More than 60 employees work for the company, each with a wealth of experience in rapid prototyping. WayKen emphasizes its ability to help customers at every stage of product development, and it certainly possesses the technology to do so. Although WayKen offers multiple rapid prototyping technologies, is specialty is clearly CNC machining, and it offers a level of expertise and proficiency that make it an extremely competitive player in the industry.
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