When prototyping zinc die cast parts, there is no perfect way to mimic future product casting. Typical options for prototyping zinc die castings are, rapid tooling, machining, investment casting, spin casting, sand casting, and 3D printing. Depending on the design of the part and other specific qualities that may need to be tested one of these methods of prototyping may better fit your project.
Each one of these methods of prototyping have their advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the right one can be crucial to the outcome of your finished part. Rapid tooling allows for the tooling of the newly designed parts in a low cost and quick way. The largest down fall of this kind of prototyping is its initial cost however, it does allow for piece price for additional future parts to be lower overt time. Machined part prototypes are machined out of zinc blocks. This process produces prototypes very quickly unfortunately because the part is machined the surface characteristics of the part are compromised. With investment casting a much better surface finish is produced. However, the quality of the part is compromised and less parts can be made. The spin casting method is best suited for smaller parts and can create complex geometries. The downside of prototyping in this way is the high costs per part due to additional machining needed for tighter tolerances. Sand casting can provide lower upfront costs and the size of the parts can be larger, but additional machining is often necessary. Thus, leading to a more expensive option. At this time 3D prototyping cannot produce production die cast representative parts. This prototyping is good for examining many different design iterations quickly, especially for geometric fit, but often the material strength is not the same.
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Deco Products has been a reliable “Made in USA” zinc die cast manufacturer since 1960. Deco Products provides exceptional service and quality products for a multitude of industries. A few services Deco provides are custom precision engineered zinc die-casting, powder coating, assembly, CNC Machining, and DFM-Part Design. Deco has been a stable and reliable supplier to the industry and continuously strives for being the best value for its key partner/customers.
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