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3D printing meets injection mould tooling

Toolcraft have been busy experimenting with a great new rapid injection mould tooling process - 3D printing of injection mould tools.

OK, what's so good about it ?3d printed ceramic mould tool

If you need a cost-effective and very fast way of producing a small amount mouldings, this is a great way of combining the advantages of the 3D printing and injection moulding processes.

 

Our simple supermarket trolley coin tool was 3D printed by Graphite Additive Manufacturing in a ceramic loaded plastic within a day! We mounted the printed tool into a Toolcraft standard tool bolster and ran it in an automatic injection moulding machine and made the coins with good results in a range of materials: ABS, polypropylene, Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) and PA.

Sounds interesting. What sort of projects can i use it for ?

Ceramic plastic injection mould tools are eminently suitable for:

  • very small projects – the cost per product will be cheaper and it's much faster than CNC machining each piece
  • very urgent projects – you can have a batch of mouldings within a matter of days, perhaps whilst waiting for your aluminium mould tool to be produced.
  • testing projects – for example plastic material shrinkage, which cannot be tested by having standard models created, can be assessed without having to commission a full blown injection mould tool.

Great, how can I get going with this ?mouldings from 3d printed mould tool

We're still experimenting, but if you have a project you would like to try this great technique with, please get in touch.

 

Ceramic loaded plastic mould tools have a much shorter life than traditional steel ones. If you're looking for an economical way to get larger volumes moulded, don't forget about our insert-only tooling option.