This paper shows the results of studying the technology of manufacturing cortical electrode-instruments (EI) with the use of indirect methods of the Rapid Prototyping technology. Functional EI prototypes were made by layered synthesis of the photopolymer material with the use of the stereolithography technology (SLA - Stereo Lithography Apparatus). The article is focused on two methods of indirect EI manufacturing. One of the EI prototypes was used for making a molded wax model for hot investment casting, followed by applying copper coating. The second prototype was used for applying copper plating to a prepared current-conductive layer. As a result of EDMing a steel workpiece, both EIs reached the desired depth, which is 1 mm. The copper plating applied to the EI preserves its integrity. Through the use of the casting technology, there is a possibility to cut the economic costs by 35%. Using a prototype with preliminarily applied conductive coating makes it possible to make geometrically-complex EIs.
The paper presents the use of rapid prototyping technology of three dimensional printing (3DP) to make a prototype shell casting mold. In the first step, for identification purposes, a mold was prepared to enable different alloys to be cast. All molds being cast were designed in a universal CAD environment and printed with the zp151 composite material (Calcium sulfate hemihydrate) with a zb63 binder (2- pyrrolidone). It is designated to be used to prepare colourful models presenting prototypes or casting models and molds. The usefulness of 3DP technology for use with copper alloys, aluminum and zinc was analyzed. The strength of the mold during casting was assumed as a characteristic comparative feature in the material resistance to high temperature, the quality of the resulting casting and its surface roughness. Casting tests were carried out in vacuum – pressure casting. The casting programs applied, significantly increased the quality of castings and enabled precise mold submergence. Significant improvement was noted in the quality compared to the same castings obtained by gravity casting.
The research focused on the production of prototype castings, which is mapped out starting from the drawing documentation up to theproduction of the casting itself. The FDM method was applied for the production of the 3D pattern. Its main objective was to find out whatdimensional changes happened during individual production stages, starting from the 3D pattern printing through a silicon mouldproduction, wax patterns casting, making shells, melting out wax from shells and drying, up to the production of the final casting itself. Five measurements of determined dimensions were made during the production, which were processed and evaluated mathematically. A determination of shrinkage and a proposal of measures to maintain the dimensional stability of the final casting so as to meet requirements specified by a customer were the results.