Additive Manufacturing: a key technology for plastic injection and die casting

GF Machining Solutions—a long-time, major actor in plastic injection and die casting, supplying market players with high-performance machine tools—continues its legacy of providing customers with solutions for manufacturing the most complex molds, dies and inserts with the addition of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology to its multi-technology portfolio. Discover the GF Division’s AgieCharmilles AM S 290 Tooling solution for mold and die in Hall 27, Stand B24, at EMO Hannover 2017, September 18–23, in Hannover, Germany.

The AgieCharmilles AM S 290 Tooling, based on the established and proven EOS technology, is a system dedicated to the mold and die industry. A System 3R MacroMagnum chuck is fully integrated into the building system. This significantly improves the ability for upstream and downstream integration of the AM process in the whole production process, especially for the creation of hybrid mold inserts, by combining AM and conventional technologies.

Direct metal Laser sintering (DMLS) uses an ytterbium fiber Laser fired into a bed of powdered metal, aiming the Laser automatically at points in space defined by a 3D model, melting—or, rather, welding—the material together to create a solid structure.

Heating/cooling channels inside an insert are of capital importance in plastic injection and die casting tools. Unfortunately, the limitations of traditional machining methods fail to produce channels that can achieve maximum performance. Thanks to 3D printing and GF Machining Solutions’ AM technology, mold and die makers can build inserts with conformal channels, meaning that they are placed closer to the final molded part and respect the part’s geometry. This breakthrough then aligns the exchange of temperature inside the mold, therefore optimizing production in terms of time, cost and quality.

These inserts can be used for any kind of injected or die cast product in all segments. Due to better temperature homogeneity during the injection process, customers can reduce their cycle time, increase their productivity and improve their overall quality.

AM however supports businesses even more by delivering much more flexibility in part and mold design, significantly improving their time-to market and reducing the high costs related to prototyping and mold replacement.

In both mold and die and other applications in various segments, GF Machining Solutions is at the forefront of efficiently blending traditional and new manufacturing technologies by optimizing parts and process flows and by improving data flow and systems connectivity.

GF Machining Solutions Technical Unit System 3R, for example, has recently developed a new concept consisting of a reference platform (3R MasterPal) and multiple component-specific mini pallets (3R MiniPal) on which your additively manufactured parts are printed. Both platform and pallets accelerate the production of mold inserts by better maintaining references.

AM is a current industrial trend as applications are numerous and promising—and initiatives are multiplying all over the world. GF Machining Solutions has embraced AM as a leading technology providing new opportunities for its customers, and understands how it complements traditional technologies, particularly in mold and die manufacturing.

Today, GF Machining Solutions meets customers’ needs with both an AM solution and support in integrating the technology into their machining processes. GF Machining Solutions’ great strengths are its unique multi-technology portfolio and its expertise in industrialized processes, especially in mold and die.

Source:GF Machining Solutions

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