When does it make sense to utilize Rapid Prototyping versus building a prototype tool?

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When does it make sense to utilize Rapid Prototyping versus building a prototype tool?

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A. Rapid prototyping makes sense when you only need a few parts and can live with some variability and a rougher surface finish. We utilize the SLA process to create wax patterns, so no tooling is needed, but they are more expensive. The SLA process also creates a stepped surface finish and it is harder to control some of the tighter tolerances that may be required for a production component. There are alternate methods to creating investment cast parts without needing hard tooling depending on your requirements. Please call for further details.