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Shops Finding a Role for Additive Manufacturing

This metal assembly was made by Mark Two’s innovative rapid manufacturing process.

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This metal assembly was made by Mark Two’s innovative rapid manufacturing process.

The people at Mark Two Engineering gave this small piston and rod assembly to me when I visited the shop to develop this medical machining story. The assembly is representative of the type of parts the shop can produce using its “4th Dimension” rapid manufacturing process. This investment casting process, which requires little or no secondary machining, enables the shop use a CAD file to produce a completed part in a customer’s specified metal in a matter of days. While the process is similar to lost-wax casting, it doesn’t require a master mold to create wax part patterns. Instead, the shop uses a 3D printer to create the patterns layer-by-layer.

Mark Two is one of a growing number of traditional “subtractive machining” shops integrating additive equipment. If you’ve considered adding such capabilities, I suggest visiting our Prototyping & Rapid Manufacturing Zone. There, you’ll find articles and video related to job shop prototyping and rapid tool making as well as additive technologies.