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3D printing mold applications
Nov 13, 2017

3D printing (additive manufacturing) has brought great impact on the manufacturing industry. At present, 3D printing is widely used in model making, hand plate and mold manufacturing and other fields. Those who needed hundreds of dollars and weeks to spend, can now be designed in the morning and printed in the evening, and they can be delivered to customers in the morning of the second day. Some companies have been using 3D printing technology to make injection molds. No need to spend time to wait for a few months can be used for manufacturing the mold, or because the downstream design changes lead to modify the mold a large amount of money invested, or the production layer on the uncertain factors. Whether it is mold validation or injection molding small batch production, can quickly 3D printing mold.  If the mold has problems or need to modify the design, then print one and repeat the verification or production is.

3D printing mold application common areas:

(1) molding (blow molding, LSR, RTV, EPS, injection molding, pulp mold, soluble mold core, glass fiber reinforced plastic mold, etc.)

(2) mould (die, sand mold, spinning, etc.)

(3) molding (thermoforming, metal hydroforming, etc.)

(4) machining, assembly and inspection (stationary fixture, mobile fixture, modular fixture, etc.)

(5) robot end effector (clamp hand)

3D printing dies have many advantages:

1) die production cycle shortened

2) reduce manufacturing costs

3) the improvement of die design adds more functionality to terminal products.

4) optimization tools are more ergonomic and enhanced minimum performance.

5) custom molds to help customize the final product.

How to look at the development of 3D printing die application?

Compared to 3D printing, mold manufacturing process need to go through the trial after drawing, mold processing, mold processing, electrode processing, mold parts processing, testing equipment, flying die for production, the process is more complicated. The 3D printing is modeled by software modeling, and then the "slice" is read to the printer to read the horizontal screenshot information to print production. But 3D printing technology is not suitable for mass production, 3D printing production unit model of cost and production cost is similar to tens of thousands of pieces of mold, and the traditional mold manufacturing enterprises once the scale of production, will be able to show the advantage. Therefore, at this stage, 3D printing is difficult to replace the mold manufacturing industry in the batch production process.

However, for 3D printing instead of mold manufacturing problems, may not necessarily be a life and death relationship. With 3D printing technology matures, it can be used for manufacturing enterprise mold enterprises using 3D printing technology to produce low efficiency products, and mold manufacturing technology for the production of high value-added products, precision manufacturing, such as aerospace equipment and medical equipment, in order to achieve the transformation and upgrading of the entire industry.

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