Can 3D-printed, polymer-based injection mold tools be robust enough to allow widespread adoption of their use? While 3D-printed tools will likely never hold up to traditional metal in long-run applications, their cost and time benefits are compelling. The value of this application has been recognized – and pursued – for years and has found success in a limited window. This presentation will focus on breakthroughs that significantly open the operating window of success in low- and mid-volume applications. By incorporating reinforcing fibers into thermoset polymers, properties can be improved dramatically. In this application, ceramic fibers are used to increase the strength and stiffness of the base material as well as heat deflection temperature (HDT), wear resistance and fracture toughness. Through case studies, this talk will demonstrate that ceramic-reinforced material can produce injection mold tools that meet customer requirements for low-volume molding across a range of molded materials. We will also focus on key operating parameters and design guidelines that contribute to these successes.
- Understand the benefits of using additive tooling (in the right applications) as compared to traditionally manufactured injection mold tools
- Learn the design guidelines and best practices for 3D-printed tools to greatly increase results
- Be equipped with the tools and information necessary to fully utilize 3D-printed tooling to shorten design cycles and cut costs