Injection moulding and blow moulding, require complex tooling to be developed in advance. This is a high-cost component and often causes holdups in projects. By using metal 3D printers to produce mould tooling, companies decrease time to market. 3D printing also gives you the ability to design and develop moulds with significant advantages when compared to traditional mould tooling.
By manufacturing close to the customer, lead times of mould and tooling can be reduced. Transport times can be cut by weeks, significantly speeding up time to market. Time is increasingly essential in today’s competitive landscape with shorter lead times, higher customization and more competitors leading to increased pressures on mould makers and those who depend on them. What's more, the manufacturing of the tooling itself can be faster. By 3D printing inserts, nozzles or die parts, significant manufacturing time is saved when compared to traditional methods.
For years conformal cooling channels in moulds have been touted as a critical advantage. Through metal 3D printing, unique forms can be created including conformal cooling channels that are not possible with traditional means. New complexity in your mould can be manufactured and channels that precisely cool a part can be created. Using conformal cooling channels, injection mould cycle times can be reduced. At the same time, better more uniform cooling will minimize scrap by limiting warping in parts. By using metal additive manufacturing, conformal cooling channels could be made to suit any part geometry, providing for the best part cooling every time.