5/17/2018 | 1 MINUTE READ

3D Printing Workshop Has Successful Launch at NPE2018

Speakers at the inaugural 3D Printing Workshop emphasized mold tooling and end-use production, among other 3D printing applications.


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NPE2018 hosted the 3D Printing Workshop for the first time, on Wednesday, May 9. Approximately 300 plastics professionals attended the half-day program focused on practical applications of 3D printing technologies.

Presentations addressed multiple uses of additive manufacturing within the plastics industry, underscoring the fact that 3D printing is now a viable option for far more than just prototyping. Several themes emerged from the workshop presentations:

3D printing as a means of making mold tooling. Robert Zollo, president and founder of Avante Technology, shared research on 3D printing injection molds with composite materials.  Lou Young, president of Linear AMS, spoke about the use of metal 3D printing to manufacture molds with conformal cooling channels to improve the efficacy of injection molds.

Additive manufacturing materials. Zollo's presentation detailed the carbon nanotube technology (CNT) materials used in the company's molds and how they differ from other carbon-reinforced materials. Thomas Fabian, PhD, R&D manager of material science, and Kenneth R. Vessey Jr., staff engineer for performance materials, both of UL LLC, discussed UL's "blue card" approach to approving materials for additive manufacturing, the organization's answer to "yellow card" material ratings for AM. On a related note, a joint presentation delivered by Thomas Raymond, manager additive manufacturing at Arburg, and Dr. Phillip Brunner, director of strategic accounts, Interfacial Consultants, discussed the former's Freeformer 3D printing system that supports the use of standard injection molding resins in pellet form, as well as new, specialized 3D printing materials.

3D printing for production. Ken Burns, technical sales director for Forecast 3D, and David Tucker, market development manager, 3D printing, of HP, discussed the latter's Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology with an emphasis on its usefulness for production parts. Another presentation from Scott Kraemer, production development engineer at Carbon, compared Carbon's Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) process to conventional injection molding, underscoring that CLIP can produce large quantities of parts with isotropic mechanical properties. Meanwhile, Lester Hitch, life cycle solutions specialist for EOS North America, highlighted his company's partnership with Under Armour and the potential of 3D printing for shoe manufacturing. Steve Chillscyzn, CEO of Evolve Additive Solutions introduced his company's Selective Thermoplastic Electrophotographic Process (STEP) technology, a process that promises speeds comparable to injection molding for part production. 

The 3D Printing Workshop is co-hosted by Additive Manufacturing, MoldMaking Technology and Plastics Technology, sister publications produced by Gardner Business Media.