3D printed tooling

Making use of metal 3D printing for the manufacture of tooling can save both time and money. Here, it’s vitally important to use the right additive manufacturing process as well as the right metal powder.

Tooling consists of instruments or components typically used for creating geometrical shapes in various production processes. Those production processes include injection moulding, casting, cutting, stamping, extrusion and assembly. Typical categories of machine tooling include fixtures, jigs, gauges, moulds, dies, cutting equipment and patterns. It is common that tooling components are produced in comparatively low volumes, which is driving up costs.

Using tools with the right material and quality is critical for manufacturers. Additive manufacturing offers possibilities to introduce internal cooling channels into moulding tools or optimize coolant supply for cutting tools. This opens wide opportunities for reduction of manufacturing costs and productivity improvements.

The process of making tools is time-consuming and expensive. Intricate geometries, high precision and surface finish requirements combined with hard and wear resistant materials apply extremely high demands of a highly qualified workforce and equipment. In-house metal 3D printing enables a faster and cheaper way to produce tooling. Metal 3D printing your tooling means that you can act faster, increase productivity and improve functionality of your tooling. Being able to drastically reduce delivery time is a big advantage.

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