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Frequently Asked Questions

To help shed some light on our services, here are answers to the frequently asked questions about prototyping.

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General FAQ’s

What is the advantage of WayKen?
What we’re really good at is CNC machining and rapid tooling, including CNC plastic prototyping, CNC aluminum machining, clear optical prototype machining, and silicone molding for urethane casting, and rapid injection molding for low-volume production, which maintain a competitive edge with innovative service and highly skilled workforce, providing cost-effective prototyping and manufacturing solutions for our customers.

Do you provide any other Prototyping services?
Yes, we also provide following services: 3D printing SLA and SLS, sheet metal processing, and one-stop surface finishing.

Can WayKen make design drawings for me?
We do not provide design services. You are responsible for submitting 2D and 3D CAD drawings, and we can then provide a Design for Manufacturing (DFM) review upon receiving your order.

How does WayKen compare to other suppliers on price?
Although direct comparisons are difficult, WayKen’s prices will be typically 30-50% less for CNC machining and rapid injection molding when compared to suppliers in North America and Europe. SLA & SLS prototyping are not competitive from China unless you need to do full cosmetic finishing to the raw SLA/SLS model.

As compared to Chinese suppliers, we choose to not to compete on price but to offer the highest levels of quality, rapid response and professional results.

What type of design files does WayKen accept for quoting?
In order to provide an accurate and timely quote, we accept 3D CAD files in STL, STEP or IGES format, 2D CAD drawings with reference dimensions in format to include DWG and PDF. All of the WayKen processes are dependent on good 3D CAD solid models. Upload your file and we’ll send you a WayKen quote.

Can you use STL file for machining?
Sorry, we cannot use STL file for machining. We can use STL file for viewing or quotation purpose but need 3d CAD file in STEP or IGES or X_T format for machining.

How long does a quotation take?
In most cases, we respond within 24 business hours of receiving an RFQ. If the quote is delayed, we will notify you as soon as possible.

Will WayKen sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA)?
Yes. WayKen always keeps customer information confidential and only releases information at the customer’s discretion. If it gives you peace-of-mind to sign an NDA we are more than willing to do so.

Are lead times in working days or calendar days?
Lead times are quoted in calendar days. As per our Terms and Conditions, quoted lead times commence only after completion and confirmation of design for manufacturing review and the beginning of actual production.

How quickly can you deliver my parts?
Each process is different and depends on part size, quantity required, and finishing requirements. Quality prototyping parts can be made in 3-9 days. Rapid injection molding may take 2-5 weeks to complete. More complex parts requiring or other special features will take longer. As for shipping, most of our shipments are via air freight, which can take a few days from China to Europe or North America.

Can you accept a Purchase Order (PO)?
Yes. We frequently deal with Purchase Orders. When you order our services, please discuss the payment terms and payment methods with the project manager.

How can I pay WayKen?
WayKen accepts payment in two ways:

  • Bank to bank wire transfer. WayKen has accounts in Hong Kong and ShenZhen, China.
  • WayKen can send you a PayPal invoice and you can use your PayPal account or credit card to pay.

Can my company get credit with WayKen?
Unless otherwise agreed upon, all new rapid prototyping customers must pay in advance, we will consider giving 30 days credit based on the order quantity after a period of cooperation between the parties.

Except in very special cases, all tooling orders require a 50% deposit in advance, even for clients who have credit terms. Typically the balance must be paid after T1 approval of samples. Terms are negotiable with each individual customer.

How can I get extensive help with my project?
WayKen has knowledgeable project engineers who can assist you with all your project questions and needs. They can help you through the entire prototyping to production process and make expert recommendations.

Who is responsible for my project?
Each project is assigned a technical sales manager and a lead project engineer, who will be there from project launch to the delivery of your parts.

Do you ship internationally?
Absolutely, we are serving worldwide clients. We use FedEx, UPS and DHL for overseas shipments depends upon your preference.

What are WayKen’s shipping terms?
Our standard terms are Ex Works (EXW) for rapid prototyping and regular production orders. This means the customer is responsible for shipping, customs clearance and all other associated fees once the goods have left our premises.

For express shipments, we use Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU), which means that the client is responsible for paying import duty when the goods arrive to your destination.

FAQ’s Related to CNC Machining

What is CNC machining?
CNC, stands for Computer Numerical Control, applies to machine control system but erroneously used as a replacement term for NC. CNC is a generic term for vast field of numerical controllers. Our application is related to CNC Milling; used for machining complex parts and shapes hard to machine with conventional machines. Firstly cutter path is generated direct from the CAD model, which is transferred to machine controller in the form of numerical data. This data is used to move the machine table and tool to create the high precision jobs. Please visit our CNC Machining page.

What are the advantages of CNC machining?

  • Wide selection of materials, no need to compromise with raw material because parts can be CNC machined directly out of engineering plastics and metals.
  • Highly accurate and repeatable, CNC machining allows for high accuracy and excellent surface finish and/or details.
  • Fast turnaround, CNC machines can be used 24 hours a day continuously, only being turned off for maintenance.
  • Economical for short run of production parts that require wide range of operations to be performed. Scalable volumes from one to 100,000.
  • Prototypes generally large and bulky parts are economical by CNC prototyping compared to rapid prototyping processes because most of RP proprietary materials are expensive.

What are the disadvantages of CNC machining?

  • Need to spend considerable time for programming before actual machining.
  • Sometime sharp corners are difficult to machined due to cutter radius which need to be sharpened by secondary operation.
  • Undercuts are difficult to machine so sometimes parts need to be made in sections and glued to accommodate undercut features.
  • Deep and narrow pockets/slots could be difficult to machine due to cutter size constrains.
  • Some features, such as square cornered keyways or undercuts, can be difficult to machine and may involve the use of EDM or wire EDM.

CNC machined vs. rapid prototype parts?
CNC machined parts are far superior to RP parts in accuracy, strength, surface finish and material availability. CNC machined plastic parts are an excellent representation of a molded part. If it wasn’t for the absence of ejector pin marks, you can hardly tell them apart. On the other hand, RP parts can be created in any geometry imaginable, including geometries that can’t be manufactured by any other process. So there are tradeoffs.

What materials are available?
WayKen stocks a variety of production-grade plastics and various metals that are available in the sheet stock we use in our process. While WayKen’s material choices are much broader than those available with rapid prototyping, they are nevertheless more limited than in injection molding. Most materials are available in only one or two grades and in one or two colors — typically Black and Natural or White. Some materials are only available in certain thicknesses. Your quote will allow you to evaluate the cost of different material choices. You can view the materials available that visit our Material Selection page.

What tolerances can WayKen’s CNC machining achieve?
There is not a given set of tolerances that fits all processes and materials. In every case, the final tolerances on your part will depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to: part size, design geometry, materials, surface finish.

WayKen’s general tolerance is applied to DIN-ISO-2768 (medium) for machined plastic and DIN-ISO-2768 (fine) for machined metals. Typically, we can hold a machining tolerance from +/-0.125mm to +/-0.05mm. Part features are recommended to be thicker than 0.5mm in all regions and a nominal part thickness above 1.0mm is required.

If tighter tolerances are required, the information must be communicated as to which dimensions require a more narrow range, overall geometric tolerances can be applied to the drawing for the part.

What metal machining services are offered by WayKen?
Apart from machining plastic components, WayKen also offers metal CNC machining that meets any complex design specifications. It encompasses turning, milling, drilling and tapping for a variety of metal materials.

Our metal machining services, especially on aluminum prototyping, custom aluminum machining, aluminum milling, and other than the aluminum parts, we still have other CNC soft metal such as Magnesium, Zinc, Titanium and CNC hard metal such as Steel, Stainless Steel are all our main services.

What are the advantages of 5-axis machining?

  • Machine on 5 sides of a part with one single setup.
  • Saves set up time, increasing machining productivity.
  • Higher accuracy and outstanding surface finishes, improving overall part quality.
  • Work pieces are not moved through several workstations, reduces error and fixturing costs, less time hand benching.
  • Milling and drilling with compound angles. Improved tool life and cycle time as a result of tilting the tool/table to maintain optimum cutting position and constant chip load.
  • Shorter and more rigid tools may be used. Higher spindle speeds and feed rates may be achieved while reducing the load on the cutting tool.

What type of post-finishing available?
WayKen’s in house prototype finishing is capable of providing the best post-finish including assembling & form fitting, fastening & metal inserting, sanding & polishing, blasting & brushing, painting & printing. We also offer a wide array of specialty surface treatments, including laser etching, anodizing, electroplating, chroming, chemical finishing, powder coating, etc. To provide a fast emulated prototype as same as the final product to client, we support one-stop surface finishing operations for client’s convenience.

Can WayKen provide optical quality on my transparent parts?
Yes. We combine the machining capabilities of the best combined 3-axis, 4-axis or even 5-axis CNC milling machines. We also have adopted the latest diamond machining technology in ultra-precision manufacturing. This is a technique called Single Point Diamond Machining (SPDM or SPDT) that can match the ability of 5-axis micro-milling to produce a range of lens and light guides types of excellent optical quality in an array or freeform pattern. With the rich polishing experience, we can get amazing appearance on both inside and outside of the parts, providing fully support to clear and optical prototype development projects.

What are the material choices for WayKen's CNC machining?

  • ABS - (Natural / Black / Flame Retardant)
  • ABS / PC Blend
  • PC / Polycarbonate - (Clear / Black)
  • PMMA / Acrylic - (Clear / Black)
  • PA / Nylon - (Natural / Black / 30%GF)
  • PP / Polypropylene - (Natural / Black / 20% GF)
  • POM / Acetal / Delrin - (Black / White)
  • PVC
  • HDPE
  • PEEK
  • PEI / Ultem
  • Bakelite Resin
  • Epoxy Tooling Board

  • Aluminum - (6061 / 6063 / 7075 / 5052…)
  • Stainless Steel
  • Steel
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Bronze
  • Magnesium Alloy
  • Zinc Alloy
  • Titanium alloy

FAQ's Related to Vacuum Casting

What is vacuum casting?
Vacuum casting (also known as polyurethane casting) can be used to closely simulate final injection molded parts or finished products. Generally, molds are made from silicone rubber and use a CNC or SLA part as a master pattern. These molds duplicate details and textures and give consistent finishes from one part to the next. You can get production-like results including mechanical properties, colors, and finishes.

What is the difference between RTV molding and silicone tooling/cast urethane?
RTV molding and silicone tooling are synonymous terms for the same process. RTV (room temperature vulcanized) describes the kind of silicone used in the mold making process.

Why it is important to have a quality standard master?
The quality of the casting parts is determined by the quality of master pattern.When the requirement of a client comes to high tolerance, glossy finish or even optically clear parts, the master pattern will be manufactured with CNC machine which is characterized with high specification precision machining and high-quality surface finish.

In the meantime, we also can paint parts surface for texture or satin effect to simulate the final mold texture of the product. The silicone molds will copy the details and textures from the original master, so the casting parts will come out the same as the master without any extra finish on the surface.

What is the mold life for a silicon mold?
The service time of the silicone mold is directly related to the complexity of the casting part. Generally, it outputs 12-15 pieces before degradation. If the structure of the part is simple, one mold might be able to cast 20 parts; while if the part requires high quality such as the clear complicated part, one mold can only make 12 or even 10 casting parts.

How to create a silicone mold?

  • The master needs to be stuck with some thin films to make the mold easier to be cut, which will act as a seam for the final mold.
  • The master model is suspended in a box with the gates and vents attached; risers are put on the part to allow air to escape from the final mold.
  • Silicone is poured around the master and vacuum is used to remove all air. This then is cured in an oven, at a temperature of 40℃. It generally takes 8-16 hours depending on the volume of the mold.
  • Once the silicone rubber has cured, the box and risers are removed; as the master is removed from the silicone to form a cavity, a complete silicone rubber mold is made.

What material you use for vacuum casting?
WayKen offers various materials to meet your applications, including Hei-Cast from Japan and Axson from France. Materials with certain properties are similar to engineering production plastics, such as ABS, PMMA, PC, PP, PA, and so on. Casting parts can be varied from transparent, translucent to colored and from soft rubber to hard plastic. Various materials contain those impact resistant, high temperature resistant (120℃) or fire resistant (UL94-V0), and glass filled resins and different hardness silicone.

How to do the urethane casting process?

  • First-phase preparation, the silicone mold is placed in an oven and heated to 60°C-70°C.
  • Assemble the mold before casting the polyurethane. Choosing right mold-release agent (and using it properly) is very important to avoid stickiness and surface defects.
  • Prepare the polyurethane resins to preheat it to about 40°C before use. Mix two-component resins in exact proportions, and then fully stir and degas for 50-60 seconds under vacuum.
  • The resin is poured into the mold inside the vacuum chamber under computer control, and cured again in the oven. Average cure time: 1-3 hours for small parts and 3-6 hours for big parts.
  • Remove the resin part from the silicone mold after cured. Remove the gates and vents; leave an exact copy of the original.
  • Prepare to repeat this cycle

What tolerances can WayKen vacuum casting hold?
We provide a standard tolerance on ± 0.15mm/100mm, with the highest precision able to reach ± 0.05 mm.

What is a typical lead time for this process?
Lead times are always dependent on current shop capacity and the individual project, however, a standard lead time for the silicone tooling and cast urethane process is 2 weeks for the first article shipment.

What kind of production can apply vacuum casting?

  • Low Volume Manufacturing / Short Production Runs
  • Engineering Verification / Functional Testing
  • Aesthetic Models / Color & Texture Studies
  • Marketing Ready / Display Models

Can urethane parts be used as final products for end users?
Yes they can, and they are. While this process is utilized for prototyping more often than not, often customers will use this as a bridge tooling process to get product out into the market while production tooling is being made. For very specialized products, such as medical devices, this process is used for production as very low up-front cost is attractive for short runs. Production quality appearance and urethanes developed for the purpose of functionality make this process great for end use.

FAQ's Related to Rapid Injection Molding

What is rapid injection molding?
Rapid injection molding known as Rapid Tooling is one of the real injection molding way that can solve the first hundreds of Trial production before mass production. Rapid injection molding is striving for low volume injection molding parts by using rapid tooling or soft mold. In prototype area we call it prototype injection molding because this is the easy molding way without complex hot or cool runners which will reduce the cost compare to mass production mold, but can use the real injection molding material for production all the same. When your production tooling won’t be ready for months, rapid tooling is a great way to receive parts quickly and inexpensively.

What is bridge tooling?
Our rapid injection molding process bridges the gap between prototype and production, so you can get your functional and form-fit tests done quicker, and it allows you to show potential consumers and salesmen a definitive finished product, and lets any issues to be discovered and corrected well before them transferred to manufacturing. With our industry leading process, we can build your mold and ship an unlimited quantity of parts until your production tooling is ready.

What are the cost-saving mold manufacturing processes for WayKen?
In order to fully satisfy the need of rapid production and cost reduction, normally we utilize the Master Unit Die (MUD) systems to quickly change mold bases which are proven to save tooling time and reduce costs. Even more importantly, engineering changes involve only the MUD mold insert, not an entire standard mold base. You can also group several similar parts together on what is known as a family tool for greater savings. In addition, manual or semi-automatic inserts are also often used in rapid mold tooling.

What are the advantages of WayKen's rapid aluminum tooling?

  • With optimized mold designing and machining, our aluminum molds have far exceeded its projected tool lifespan. A 100,000 product life expectancy can be achieved with aluminum cavities.
  • Aluminum can be used to make MUD molds, which mean lower tooling costs and faster production changeovers, and offer the remarkable flexibility approach for just-in-time scheduling.
  • Faster machining efficiencies of aluminum allows us to machine the mold directly, for instance, the ribs, radius, sharp edges and so on. It shortens the time to do EDM and Wire EDM treatment.
  • Aluminum is a very strong conductor of heat. Quicker cooling generally means substantially reduced cycle time and faster parts, and allows us to process without machining some cooling channels.
  • Aluminum tools are easier to machine than steel tooling. So iterative design changes or creating modifications are typically less burdensome and less cost impact.

Are there limitations to rapid injection tooling?
No! At WayKen we do not cut out any steps from conventional tooling or molding. By use of common mold components, state of the art equipment and a well trained staff coupled with an unsurpassed process flow, give us the competitive edge over our competition and the ability to call our injection molding process rapid.

How does WayKen ensure the quality of my parts?
WayKen takes a proactive approach to plastic projects, providing cost-effective and rationalized advice from designs, materials, production processes, manufacturability, etc. We determine your best pathway to the marketplace based on your project’s goals and expectations. Our engineers and master molders can make this process less painful and time consuming to make sure your part can be molded as intended, from the start.

  • Once your order is confirmed, we will perform a full Design for Manufacturing (DFM) review to point out any issues that our engineers feel may affect the quality of your parts.
  • All incoming materials will meet your design specifications.
  • Final inspection reports before shipment.
  • We have the ability to share inspection data with you in real-time so we can work together to address any quality issues you may have during production.