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Metal Coating (Electroforming)

Applying a layer of metal to the surface of a part, usually of Stereolithography or Laser Sintered origin, can dramatically change its properties. Typically thicknesses of 50 to 300 micron can be applied that not only seal the substrate but also significantly stiffen the geometry allowing it to survive far more arduous conditions than before.

Initially this was used by the Formula One race teams to achieve the desired stiffness when testing geometries in the windtunnel. However, it also improved 'survivability' substantially, allowing fitment to the cars themselves.

Most materials can be coated, however the benefit is maximised when used to coat materials such as Nanotool or glass filled nylon(GFN).

This is now available for industrial applications and offers some exciting possibilities both in the Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Manufacturing arenas.

For more information, please  stefan@smartprototype.net


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