Transforming the Tooling Industry with 3D Printed Injection Molds
Additive manufacturing enables the creation of highly customized solutions for the tooling industry. Tools and molds can be tailored to specific production needs, accommodating complex geometries and features that would otherwise be impossible or costly to achieve using traditional manufacturing methods. Benefits of AM for the tooling industry include: shortened cycle time, reduced material waste, improved part performance, longer tool life and sustainability.
Tooling is in our DNA
The birth of our company was based on the need for a metal 3D printer capable of serial production on an industrial scale. Michelin needed a PBF machine to achieve resolution down to 0.2mm features, shallow overhangs as low as 15 degrees, and surface finish as low as 4 Ra µm, as printed. They partnered with industrial powerhouse, Fives, and created the FormUp 350. Today, Michelin uses AddUp’s reliable and repeatable FormUp 350 to print more than one million tire sipe molds a year.
With more than 20 years of experience in AM, AddUp’s 3D metal printers take tooling molds and dies to the next level. The FormUp 350 can be used with standard medium powder or a finer powder PSD in combination with a standard blade or roller recoater system, based on the needs of the application. For example, using a finer particle PSD and AddUp’s roller recoater technology maximizes the benefits of conformal cooling. This combination allows for design complexity while achieving best-in-class surface finish, as printed. AddUp technology also allows for extreme overhang geometry while limiting the number of support structures needed. This is important for tooling applications because the smooth finish on internal cooling channels of a mold directly affect the cycle time, part performance and overall life of the tool.
As an expert of two different additive technologies, AddUp has the unique ability to optimize tooling applications using both Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) and Directed Energy Deposition (DED). Where PBF is ideal for mold designs integrating conformal cooling, DED shines for tooling repair applications by building material atop an existing part to extend the overall life of the part.
The FormUp 350 is designed for dependability. It has been built to maximize production with minimal downtime for maintenance or turnover between different builds.
We bring extensive experience scaling up to full production. AddUp machines are designed to meet an OEE level demanded for serial production.
Complex molds with internal conformal cooling channels to optimize part performance and tool life.
Superior Surface Finish
Our exclusive fine powder and roller recoater technology gives us best-in-class surface finishes, as printed, and allowing us to create parts with very few support structures.
Time and Cost Savings
With our machines’ ability to build parts with best-in-class surface finish “as printed”, our customers save time and money on post processing and finishing.
Open Machine Parameters
Some competitors keep the workings of their machines secret, but we don’t. Do more with our open platform by twisting and turning the knobs as you see fit.
When DED technology allows printing parts with complex shapes without additional tooling. A Greek manufacturer Spyros Panopoulos Automotive has asked AddUp to produce 3D-printed parts, including a 5-in-1 manifold. The challenge…
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Michelin Tires Sipes
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Materials used in Tooling & Industrial Applications
Due to the nature of the applications, the tooling industry utilizes materials that are hard, durable and can withstand extreme temperatures. In some applications, it is also important for the material to be corrosion resistant.
Maraging 300 is a steel often used in die-casting applications due to its great combination of impact resistance and dimensional stability at elevated temperatures.
AISI 420 is a stainless steel commonly used to manufacture molds for plastic injection molding. It has both high mechanical strength and good corrosion resistance.
AlSi7Mg0.6 is a lightweight material commonly used in aerospace and industrial applications. Its low weight combined with design benefits of using additive manufacturing (i.e. increased geometric complexities and topology optimization) can greatly increase the range of use applications.
AlSi10Mg is a Al-Si based alloy with good mechanical properties and thermal conductivity. It is a suitable materials for applications requiring low weight, high strength and load bearing components. It is widely used in the aerospace and automotive industries.
With more than 20 years experience in Additive Manufacturing, our machines have been designed to master detail and optimize productivity.
AddUp is leading the way with in-process monitoring, providing confidence part quality with a full suite of quality assurance monitoring software to lessen, or even eliminate, the need for rigorous testing after a part is printed. From part preparation to simulation, monitoring, and production, every link of the AddUp digital chain offers a high level of performance with user-friendly software.
Get Started with AddUp
Realize the potential digital manufacturing has to offer. Get started with AddUp and learn how AM delivers innovative solutions to solve manufacturers toughest challenges.
Learn More About Addup’s Experience in the Tooling Industry
AddUp Additive Manufacturing Solutions – Product Catalog
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