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Machine Tooling

What Machine Tooling Services can we offer?

We offer the full in-house machine tooling manufacturing service from initial concept, through design and prototyping and on to manufacture meaning that we can work with clients no matter what stage a project is at when they first come to us. If a requirement is still little more than an initial concept then we liaise closely with clients, working with them and applying our expertise and experience in order to turn a concept into a detailed CAD/CAM plan.

Our purpose-built facility is able to support soft and hard tooling as well as 3D printed tooling. Our commitment to ongoing development means that we continually apply the latest technology in order to offer the very best assembly and production solutions. From laser cutting to metal forming (press braking), metal welding or bonding, we have the facilities to do whatever is needed to deliver the often highly specialised tooling requirements our clients are looking for.

Why do our clients come to us for our Machine Tooling services?

Clients come to us because they know that the machine tooling we provide can be relied upon to deliver the desired results, not just once but over and over again. Prestige clients in sectors such as automotive and marine need to be able to know that the tooling they employ will produce the same results every time In some cases, clients come to us with plans already drawn up, and we’re able to offer our input in order to maximise the effectiveness of those plans, while others supply us with a component they wish to produce from which we are able to design and produce the relevant solution.

If you’re looking for solutions you can rely on now and into the future then get in touch.

What is Machine Tooling?

Machine tooling is the term used to describe all of the machinery that is associated with making parts, pieces or products. It is the device that aids manufacturing operations by cutting away, forming or displacing material as and when required. It includes equipment such as CNC mills and lathes, transfer lines, injection moulding machines, die casting machines etc.

For a machine tool to work effectively, it requires a core. The core is the material, which is strong enough to tolerate a number of production cycles, that will do all the cutting.

There are two main types of machine tooling that Radshape offer, these being "Hard Tooling" and "Soft Tooling".

Hard Tooling

Hard Tooling is the process of manufacturing tools from metals of which are strong enough to tolerate a number of production cycles. Metals included for example are Steel and Nickel Alloys. We have a wealth of knowledge in managing large scale hard tooling for our clients. Understanding the markets and having excellent working relationships with suppliers is crucial thus we have provided a valuable service solution for a multitude of projects. All projects are welcome but we have handled projects running into seven figures.

Soft Tooling

Soft Tooling, on the other hand, is the process of manufacturing tools from weaker composite materials such as Ureol and model board. This means they can’t tolerate as many production cycles. This isn’t necessarily a disadvantage because the production of soft tools is more cost-effective. Radshape offers this for our Prototype work and soft tooling for other projects.

Skill and Experience

Utilising our resources of skill and experience we can take a project from concept to CAD/CAM. In some cases, clients come to us with plans already drawn up, and we’re able to offer our input in order to maximise the effectiveness of those plans, while others supply us with a component they wish to produce, from which we are able to design and produce the relevant solution.
From laser cutting to forming, welding or bonding, we have the facilities to do whatever is needed to deliver the often highly specialised tooling requirements our clients are looking for. We also offer 3D Printed Tooling services.

Hard Tooling Vs Soft Tooling

Hard tooling is the process of manufacturing tools from metals of which are strong enough to tolerate a high number of production cycles. Through the use of metals such as Steel and Nickel Alloys, it is used to manufacture durable equipment for machine tools, such as measuring devices, milling cutters, tool bits, thread cutting taps, and end mills.

An advantage of Hard tooling is one of the most efficient methods to accurately mass-produce a product. Not only this, but it gives the product a better surface finish and a sharper edge.

Soft Tooling is the process of manufacturing tools from weaker composite materials such as Ureol and Model Board through the use of flexible computer-aided design (CAD) models to produce prototypes that are used for testing or manufacturing.

Soft Tooling can also be called plastic injection moulding. With this method of tooling, photo-realistic CAD models are sent to a 3D printer where they are turned into physical objects.

An advantage of soft tooling is that it's more cost-effective but compared to hard tooling, however, these types of tools cannot tolerate as many production cycles, typically less than 100 tools or parts.

What is meant by Rapid Tooling?

Rapid tooling is a machine tool-assisted process for the fast production of product prototypes. Instead of machine tools, rapid prototyping technologies are used. This includes 3D printers. Rapid prototyping reduces the time and money required for product design verification.

For example, the Radshape design engineers can use rapid prototyping to model parts quickly using 3D CAD models.

Mock-ups can be built in hours instead of days, hours instead of weeks, or days instead of months. Prototypes are also cheaper because they are made with inexpensive materials like plastics and foam boards rather than expensive materials like metal and glass.

If you’re looking for solutions you can rely on now and into the future then get in touch.

Got any questions?