Metal Additive Manufacturing for tool makers highlighted by AddUp and WBA

ApplicationsNews
September 6, 2023

September 6, 2023

By adapting the shape of the channels to cool the surface of the part more homogeneously, manufacturers can improve the quality of their products. Seen here is the mould optimised for Siebenwurst (Courtesy AddUp)
By adapting the shape of the channels to cool the surface of the part more homogeneously, manufacturers can improve the quality of their products. Seen here is the mould optimised for Siebenwurst (Courtesy AddUp)

AddUp SAS, headquartered in Cébazat, France, has partnered with WBA Aachener Werkzeugbau Akademie (WBA), in Aachen, Germany, to demonstrate the advantages of metal Additive Manufacturing for the mould making industry. After launching a Tooling Study in January 2023, the team found six tool-making companies that each identified existing moulds to be tested. AddUp and WBA have now produced the first prototypes of these injection moulds, all with optimised internal cooling channels.

Traditionally, manufacturers using injection moulding must contend with certain constraints that are inherent to the moulding process. Specifically, the mould’s performance is directly related to its ability to cool the injected parts. However, AM technology can be used to create complex cooling channels that are positioned as close as possible to the mould walls. By adapting the shape of these channels to cool the surface of the part more homogeneously, manufacturers can improve the quality of their products and experience higher productivity, as well as reduced cooling and cycle times.

THE WORLD OF METAL AM TO YOUR INBOX
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter
Sign up

The companies selected for the Tooling Study were Pöppelmann, Siebenwurst, Harting, Zahoransky, GIRA, and Framas. They were given the opportunity to test the introduction of Additive Manufacturing into their workflow, and specifically implement the technical and economic advantages that AM technology brings to their injection moulds.

The complex cooling channels for the new mould can be seen below. This mould was chosen by Framas (Courtesy AddUp)
The complex cooling channels for the new mould can be seen below. This mould was chosen by Framas (Courtesy AddUp)
This tool was optimised for Gira, the original version is on the left, with the additively manufactured version on the right (Courtesy AddUp)
This tool was optimised for Gira, the original version is on the left, with the additively manufactured version on the right (Courtesy AddUp)

Once selected, AddUp and its partners evaluated each injection mould to determine how it could be optimised with Additive Manufacturing. Each part was then redesigned for AM, optimised for conformal cooling, and manufactured on AddUp’s 4-laser FormUp 350 Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) Additive Manufacturing machine at AddUp’s AM Tooling Competence Centre in Aachen.

AddUp established its AM Tooling Competence Centre in Aachen, in partnership with WBA, in early 2023. This facility, which also serves as AddUp’s German subsidiary, gives tooling manufacturers access to AddUp’s Additive Manufacturing machines. Users can also submit application cases for evaluation and study of all aspects of their project, from the design when applied to PBF-LB, to profitability analysis and study of series production.

Optimised for Harting, the internal cooling channels can be seen in the drawing on the right (Courtesy AddUp)
Optimised for Harting, the internal cooling channels can be seen in the drawing on the right (Courtesy AddUp)
This tooling was optimised for Poppelmann (Courtesy AddUp)
This tooling was optimised for Poppelmann (Courtesy AddUp)

AddUp explained that the choice of material is critical for tool makers, as moulds must meet high requirements, especially in terms of corrosion resistance, heat conductivity, and fatigue. Leveraging its twenty years of experience in AM, AddUp used Maraging 300, a material successfully used in series production by Michelin to manufacture over a million tyre mould sipes per year. In addition to Maraging 300, AddUp recently announced build parameters for AISI 420, a corrosion-resistant tool steel also known as 1.2083 in the German standard. It is expected that this new material will enable tooling manufacturers produce even more complex and efficient moulds.

For the project, post-processing was completed by the tooling company itself or by the WBA. Each of these ready-to-use moulds is now being sampled on the respective tooling company’s production lines, and the comparative data will be provided to WBA. The final results of the Tooling Study will be presented and published at the WBA’s General Assembly in late 2023.

This study was also supported by companies including iQTemp, Deutsche Edelstahlwerke, 3D Laser BW, and Siemens NX, as well as institutes, such as Fraunhofer ILT and ACAM.

AddUp plans to launch a follow-up Tooling Study this autumn, and is inviting any tool makers interested to get in touch.

werkzeugbau-akademie.de

www.addupsolutions.com

Download Metal AM magazine
ApplicationsNews
September 6, 2023

About Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine

Metal AM magazine, published quarterly in digital and print formats, is read by a rapidly expanding international audience.

Our audience includes component manufacturers, end-users, materials and equipment suppliers, analysts, researchers and more.

In addition to providing extensive industry news coverage, Metal AM magazine is known for exclusive, in-depth articles and technical reports.

Our focus is the entire metal AM process from design to application.

Each issue is available as an easy-to-navigate digital edition and a high-quality print publication.

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF
 

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • BMW Group: Laying the foundations for the application of metal Additive Manufacturing in the automotive industry
  • Predicting the metal Additive Manufacturing market – and breaking the hype cycle
  • China’s thriving metal Additive Manufacturing industry: An outsider’s perspective
  • Enhancing the productivity of Additive Manufacturing facilities through PBF-LB automation
  • Award-winning metal AM parts from the MPIF’s 2024 Design Excellence Awards
  • Performance of eddy currents for the in-situ detection of defects during PBF-LB metal AM

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online

Discover our magazine archive…

The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap