ExOne Acquires Freshmade 3D Assets
Edited by AM Staff
Freshmade 3D AMClad plastic forming
ExOne, a provider of industrial sand and metal 3D printers using binder jetting technology, has acquired the assets of Freshmade 3D, an Ohio-based startup. Freshmade has a patented method of creating durable AMClad tooling out of sand forms 3D printed on ExOne machines. The move is designed to strengthen ExOne’s position as a provider of large-format 3D printed tooling for industrial applications.
AMClad tooling, which is 3D printed in low-cost sand on ExOne systems and then infiltrated and coated using Freshmade 3D’s method, often eliminates weeks or months of time spent waiting for conventional tooling, the company says. It also typically offers a 30-50% cost savings.
The company says this fast, durable and affordable solution can be used for a wide range of tooling applications, including composite layup, vacuum forming, compression molds, urethane casting molds, trim fixtures, hydroforming, sheet metal stamping and more. AMClad tooling is being used today by customers in the aerospace, art, architecture, automotive, construction and energy industries.
ExOne has been developing tooling products for its large, industrial 3D printers since 2014, and currently offers sacrificial tooling for composite layup that washes out with water. However, ExOne believes Freshmade 3D’s patented approach offers additional unique benefits and can help accelerate adoption of 3D printed sand tooling solutions.
“We plan to scale up this process for a global aerospace customer, who intends to use this tooling for composite layup of parts,” says John Hartner, ExOne CEO. “This is an ideal solution for companies looking to shorten supply chains and produce tooling and final products locally.”
Freshmade launched AMClad with the idea of using sand 3D printing technology to deliver hard tooling faster and with more design freedom. “Companies are just beginning to discover how robust and affordable this technology is over conventional tooling,”says Rich Wetzel, Freshmade 3D co-founder, who will now join ExOne’s applications team
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