Rapid Prototyping Services & Low-Volume Manufacturing

Trustworthy Supplier of Rapid Prototype for Automotive Light In China

Rapid plastic prototyping is a fast production for physical parts, models, and assembly parts with a small amount, the main materials are engineering plastic (PMMA, ABS, Polycarbonate, etc.), metals (aluminum, cup rum, steel), and Silicone. It is a popular method in Automotive, Medical devices, Product Development, and industrial design fields. Normally, low-volume manufacturing will be needed after rapid prototyping.

Rapid prototyping is the best way to verify the design of your new plastic product, which is designed by 3D computer-aided design (CAD), like UG, CATIA, Solidworks, Auto CAD, etc. It is an example of your new product that you plan to manufacture in large quantities. You will spend a short time and meager investment to make rapid prototyping, which can match very closely with the final product, therefore, you can know the difference between your design and the real product before manufacturing in large quantity.

Rapid prototyping for automotive lighting is manufactured by engineering plastic, such as polycarbonate (PC), Plexiglass (PMMA), ABS, Polyethylene (PE), polyformaldehyde (POM), PEEK, etc. Most automotive lighting prototypes are clear optical parts made of transparent acrylic (PMMA) and polycarbonate (PC) for example, automotive lighting lamp lenses, light guides, or product external components, displays, etc.

Low-volume manufacturing is a specialized service, that offers the same quality parts as a full production, but quantity can be a single piece to hundreds of pieces. It’s an efficient process to move an idea from the concept stage through prototyping, and from there as a bridge to full-volume production.

UVPLASTIC has more than 15 years of experience in rapid prototyping for automotive lighting. Today, we have grown to be a leading supplier in China, our clients are automotive lighting manufacturers, R&D companies, and automakers, like Audi, Volkswagen, Volvo, Chevrolet, Citroen, Infiniti, Peugeot, Buick, etc.

Rapid Plastic Prototyping and Low-Volume Manufacturing Service

CNC Rapid Plastic Prototyping Service

CNC Rapid Plastic Prototyping is a precision machining process to create high-fidelity prototype parts for in-development automotive lighting parts in small amounts, the popular processing technologies are CNC milling/carving, CNC turning, etc. CNC-machined prototypes are made from the same material as your product and will be manufactured in large quantities by using production technologies like injection molding. Normally, we use solid materials, such as polycarbonate sheets, plexiglass sheets, acrylic blocks, plexiglass rods, and some metals, like aluminum. With the polishing surface, you can get great automotive lighting prototypes with excellent optical properties.

It is the best solution for custom plastic prototypes, such as automotive lights, and can meet your strict requirements including the same material as your new products, tight tolerances, complex geometries, and fast delivery.

UVPLASTIC began to manufacture rapid prototyping services for global manufacturers of automotive lights in 2006. With excellent CNC prototyping capabilities, we are providing highly accurate plastic parts and functional prototyping for more than 1200 clients from 40 countries.


Learn more about CNC Machining Rapid Prototyping Technology or just want to say hello to us.

CNC plastic prototype machining is a popular process for a rapid prototype, which belongs to the subtractive manufacturing process. It is operated by a computer according to numerical data. Normally, engineers design some parts by UG, CATIA, and Solidworks. CAD/CAM is a popular software for machine tools, that allows the computer to control the movements of the tool. Meantime, the computer can also operate different machining tools like engraving machines, lathes, and drills for desired results.

It is a great way to get high-fidelity prototype parts. With continuous investment, today, UVPLASTIC has the following machine tools to manufacture plastic prototypes:

No.Machine Tool NameUnitQuantityToleranceRemark
1Engraving machinesSets8±0.05
3Drilling machineSets2±0.1
4Saw machineSets1±0.5
5Polishing machineSets2

CNC machining is indeed the most popular machining process for a rapid prototype in China, please see the following reasons:

  • CNC machining prototype offers better accuracy and precision, tight tolerance of ±0.05mm or better;
  • Engineers can use the same material with new products when CNC machining rapid prototype, it will be easy to test the performance, function, and manufacturing cost;
  • Prototype machining rapid prototype offers an excellent surface according to the client’s requirements;
  • Prototype machining rapid prototype is very flexible, you can create the rapid prototype in a small amount.

Most automotive lighting prototypes are made from aluminum and engineering plastic, such as polycarbonate (PC), Plexiglass (PMMA), ABS, HDPE, polyformaldehyde (POM), PEEK, etc. UVPLASTIC has adequate stocks for fast delivery.

CNC milling is one of the subtractive manufacturing processes for plastic rapid prototypes, like automotive lighting. UVPLASTIC has 3-Axis, 4-Axis, 5-Axis CNC Milling machines.

CNC Milling rapid prototyping is a good process for rapid lighting prototyping, it can manufacture different materials, like metal and plastic. It offers an integrated machining process for complex prototyping parts.

CNC Turning is the main process for rotating prototyping pars by CNC lathe.

Vacuum Casting for Rapid Plastic Prototype

Vacuum casting is an economical prototype manufacturing process for plastic rapid prototypes and new functional prototypes fastly, also known as “urethane casting”. The main materials of vacuum casting mold are silicone and polyurethane. Most prototype suppliers like this process, because vacuum casting prototypes are cost-effective, fast delivery, wide-ranging in materials/colors, and have excellent surface quality. Vacuum casting rapid prototype is the best choice for automotive lighting prototypes, pre-launch product testing, small series of housings and covers, and concept models.

Technical Specifications for Vacuum Casting Rapid Prototype

1Max. Part Size2000x1200x1000 mm
2Min. Wall Thickness1mm;
Suggested Wall Thickness is from 1.5 to 2.5 mm
3Tolerance ±0.1mm/100mm
4Prototype Quantity By Silicone MoldFrom 20 to 40 Copies for Each Silicone Mold
5Leading TimeOne week according to 50 copies
6Surface OptionsColored, Textured, Frosted, Electroplate Painted, Polished
Vacuum Casting Rapid Prototype Date Sheet

How Does A Vacuum Casting/Urethane Casting Work?

A high-quality master model is very important for a successful vacuum casting prototype. It should be a high-precision, glossy surface, therefore, we will manufacture the master model by CNC machine or 3D printing technologies, like SLA and SLS for complex parts.

Here is an article about the difference between CNC Machining and 3D printing.

With a good master model, you need to make a silicone mold.

Now, you need liquid silicone resin for it, because silicone offers chemical stability, and good liquidity, and silicone rubber is flexible and can get the detail from the master model with negligible tolerance.

The silicone mold will be separated into the upper mold and bottom mold, therefore, it should be placed on a flat desk.

Make Upper Silicone Mold

Make a box to hold the master model, and choose the biggest surface as the parting surface, if the space between the master model and the box is big, you can put some filler, it will save some liquid silicone for a better cost.

You need to choose the position of the inlet flow hole, which is easy to let the air out. Meantime, the liquid silicon should flow into all sections easily.

At this step, you need to make a locating device, which will help to have the right relative position between the upper and bottom silicone mold. Then, place the box with liquid silicon in the oven for 8 hours, the right temperature will be 40 degrees. Then, the upper silicone mold is finished, then, you need to repair it with a knife.

Make Bottom Silicone Mold

It is similar steps to make a bottom silicon mold. What you should make sure of are the following:

  • Using the same flow inlet hole with upper silicon mold;
  • Make the suitable locating device with upper silicon mold;

Take the master model out and double-check the difference between silicone mold and the master model, you can go next step if everything is good.

You should use the same material with your new prototype for example PMMA liquid, and flow it into this silicone mold as following steps:

  • Apply the release agent on the internal surface of the silicone mold;
  • Poured PMMA liquid material into the silicone mold, and make sure that the mold is full of liquid material;
  • Put silicone into the oven for hours;
  • Separate the upper and bottom silicone molds, and take the prototype out;

You need to repair the prototype after finishing all steps.

Frequently Asked Questions During Making Prototype by Urethane Casting:

  • The time to put silicone mold in the oven depends on the size of the prototype.
  • Normally, we suggest making 30 or 40 prototypes for one silicone mold.
  • UVPLASTIC can provide ABS, PMMA, PC, PP, PA for Vacuum Casting prototypes;
  • The standard tolerance will be 0.15mm/100mm

Interested in vacuum casting rapid prototypes for automotive lighting and want a fast quotation.

3D printed rapid Plastic prototypes for automotive lighting

3D printing is an additive manufacturing technology, that was devised in the 1980s, also known as rapid prototyping. This technology works by adding layer upon layer of material to build up a complete object. 3D printing technology can create a physical object from a digital model file, it enabled companies to develop prototypes quickly and more accurately than with other methods. Therefore, it plays an important role in automotive lighting prototypes.

3D printing includes a series of rapid prototyping technologies, but we are using two of them for automotive lighting prototypes, including Stereolithography (SLA) 3D Printing and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printing.

With more than 15 years of rapid prototyping for automotive lighting in China, UVPLASTIC has 12 professional engineers for 3D printing services, who can support you with your rapid prototyping. As a leading supplier of 3D printing services and rapid auto lighting prototypes in China, we know more about material and processing technology.

Technical Specifications for 3D Printing Rapid Prototype

Still have questions about 3D printing rapid automotive lighting prototypes.

1Max. Working AreaSLA: 1700 x 800 x 600 mm
SLS: 680 x 360 x 560 mm
SLM: 160 x 160 x 100 mm
2Standard Layer ThicknessSLA: From 0.05 to 0.15 mm
SLS: From 0.05 to 0.2 mm
SLS: From 0.02 to 0.1 mm
3General TolerancesSLA: 0.05 mm
SLS: 0.1 mm
SLM: 0.03 mm
4Elevator Precision±0.01mm
5Material ColorsTransparent;
Opaque: White, Gray, Black, Light Green, Brown, Yellow
6Excellent heat resistanceMilky white (260 ℃), Transparent red (130 ℃)
7Metal powderTitanium alloy (TC4);
Aluminium alloy (AISi10Mg);
Die block steel;
8Leading time5 working days

What is Stereolithography (SLA) 3D Printing?

Stereolithography (SLA) printing is an additive manufacturing process that uses ultraviolet (UV) light on liquid photopolymer material, such as ABS, PP, PC, Ceramic, etc. It builds rapid prototypes layer by layer, which is designed by computer-aided design (CAD) software. The supporting structure of prototypes can be built during printing and can be removed manually after parts are completed.

The rapid prototypes are washed by solvent to remove uncured liquid material, then, the prototypes will be solidified in a UV light oven. The colors of prototypes can be transparent, translucent, or opaque, like white, black, gray, green, amber, etc.

With a wider selection of materials, SLA is more and more popular for complex plastic prototypes, the surface of the final part can be embossed, engraved according to clients’ requirements. SLA is a very popular manufacturing process for the auto industry.

What is Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printing?

If you still have questions about SLA 3D Printing, we are happy to help you.

SLS 3D printing is another additive manufacturing process by using powdered raw material, including engineering plastic (Nylon, PA, PS, PAEK), metal, ceramic, or glass powders, etc. The powdered raw material is placed in a container, a laser selectively sinters and fuses the powdered material then builds a part layer-by-layer according to designed parts by computer-aided design (CAD) software or by scanning real parts.

The main advantage of SLS is that it doesn’t need a support structure. The unsintered powder provides the part with all the necessary support. For this reason, SLS can be used to create freeform geometries that are impossible to manufacture with any other method. Otherwise, SLS offers great bond strength between the layers.

There is no doubt that SLS printing has become an excellent manufacturing process for the auto industry.

Low-Volume Manufacturing

When designers, engineers, and businesses take product development into consideration, they will choose prototyping and mass production. But it isn’t an ideal choice risk sometimes, because they don’t know if it is 100% Successful design. Therefore, low-volume manufacturing is the optimal choice in this case. Low-volume manufacturing is considered to be a specialized service, which creates the same quality parts, the quantity ranges from several pieces to thousands of pieces.

Advantages of Low-Volume Manufacturing

  • Same quality with high volume production;
  • Reduce tooling cost: You can quickly adjust the design without changing all products, therefore, it saves tooling costs;
  • Go to market fastly: Normally, it takes one or two weeks to finish low-volume production;
  • Fast feedback from the market or clients: Gather customer feedback before doing high-volume production;
  • Fast response to design changes: Low-volume manufacturing can reduce wastage and leading time when design changes;

History Project About Rapid Prototype

Head Light Prototypes

Tail Light Prototypes

Ambient Lighting Prototypes

Grilles LOGO Prototype


Please tick it or can’t receive email from UVPLASTIC
Language »