Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing China - Electroplating Process of Prototypes
By NICE Rapid | Jun 23 , 2016 | Industry News | 0 comments


Why shall the prototypes be electroplated? 


After the prototypes or parts are formed, the metal luster on their surface is dull. While the surface of prototypes subjected to electroplating process are covered with metallic luster. Through electroplating, prototypes are rust and wear resistant, improved in electrical conductivity, lubricity, strength, heat resistance and weatherability. The surfaces of electroplating, prototypes are more attractive. 


How to electroplate the prototypes


Electroplating is a process to form a coating on the parts to be electroplated by connecting the metal at the anode and connecting the parts to the cathode, which are connected through the solution containing cation. After the DC current is turned on, oxidation reaction will occur on the surface of the metal, which will lose electrons. The cation in the solution will be neutralized and deposited on the surface of the parts to be electroplated. This is the wet electroplating method. There is also vacuum electroplating, which doesn’t need any electrolyte. It is realized with high voltage and heavy current in the vacuum environment. 


Among the two kinds of electroplating methods, wet electroplating can produce better quality and metal luster. However, the prototypes can only use the vacuum electroplating. The vacuum electroplating can solve the problem of colours. The parts subjected to wet electroplating need to be polished with 1500-2000abrasive paper, which is demanding, while the parts subjected to vacuum electroplating sandpaper only need to be polished with 800-800 abrasive paper, which is less demanding in handwork and the price is more favourable. 


The prototypes subjected to electroplating will show metal luster and qualified appearance, which are almost the same as those of the real products, so the electroplating process is a commonly used technique in prototyping.

Know More: Rapid Prototyping China


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