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IN - Rapid prototype machine commissioned

The Coimbatore Industrial Infrastructure Association (COINDIA), which is implementing the Rs. 60-crore cluster programme for pumps, motors and foundries here, has commissioned a rapid prototyping machine (sand-based). The Rs. 7.5-crore machine is said to be the first of its kind in the country for commercial use and product development.  Explaining the features of the German machine, president of COINDIA G. Rajendran told The Hindu that engineering units could feed in the design of a component and get a sand mould from the machine with the double laser sintering system.  Without the use of patterns, tools and core box, product moulds and cores could be prepared and liquid metal poured into the mould directly. Just one-third of the time taken to develop moulds and cores for a product was consumed in this process.  Since commissioning the machine on December 1, nine components had been made. Resin sand imported from Germany was used and the machine had sand reclamation equipment too. Aluminium pressure die-casting components, pump casting and automobile casting and stainless steel components could be made using this facility. The rapid prototyping machines used by the industries here were mostly plastic-based. The technology was available at a lower cost. The introductory offer was Rs. 2,500 an hour and actual consumable charges.

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