Video: Additive Manufacturing Offers a Tooling Alternative
3D printing can offer a cost-effective alternative to conventionally produced tooling for those processes that depend on it.
Many manufacturing processes depend on tooling, but procuring molds, forms, cores and other tools is a time-consuming and costly step. Additive manufacturing offers a more direct path to tooling. Learn more in the video below and find our recent reporting on 3D-printed tooling in this collection.
So many manufacturing processes depend on tooling—injection molding, casting, thermoforming—but getting the tooling is often the most time-consuming and costly part of the process.
Additive manufacturing offers an alternative. 3D printing can allow us to make tools faster and more flexibly. You can go through multiple design iterations in the same amount of time that it would take to have one tool manufactured conventionally.
3D printing also makes it easier to add customization or to incorporate innovative features like conformal cooling channels.
3D-printed tools can perform better in operation, and they can also help us make better parts.
3D printing makes it possible to manufacture molds, layup forms, jigs, fixtures, check gages, workholding, robot end effectors, hand tools and more. 3D-printed tools can be manufactured at low cost for specific users and applications and changed as needed. Tools that are no longer needed can be discarded but stored as digital inventory for the next time that tool might be required. VISIT THE ZONE
Vertical Layer Printing (VLP) 3D prints layers perpendicular to the floor, extending Z height to the length of the print bed — as long as 40 feet.
Alba Enterprises demonstrates Addifab's Freeform Injection Molding (FIM) process using 3D printed mold inserts at Amerimold 2019.
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