Trade forum highlights the potential of Additive Manufacturing for injection moulding and high pressure die casting
Erfurt. Creating tools is one of the most expensive steps in the manufacturing process. This is especially true for highly complex moulds and when cooling or tempering channels need to be integrated along contours. Conventional toolmaking processes are often still limited here. Additive Manufacturing (AM), however, offers effective solutions that enable complex products such as these to be manufactured in a single working process for the very first time. “With additive processes, you can create channels in any shape you need, and significantly faster and cheaper than before. AM also helps to increase tools’ durability, and the quality of the parts they produce”, says Holger Löffler of Vorwerk Elektrowerke GmbH & Co. KG. Together with Dietmar Frank of EOS GmbH, he is overseeing the content of the Trade Forum Tool, Mould and Fixture Making, which takes place at Rapid.Tech in Erfurt on 20 June 2017.
“Additive Manufacturing has truly established itself when it comes to injection moulding. Now it’s about making things more efficient and identifying new applications. High pressure die casting also has great potential. Here, the mechanical requirements are again significantly higher. Our trade forum focuses on solutions for both of these areas”, says Löffler.
One such solution on show will be a new tool design for the series manufacturing of components made from fibre reinforced plastics, which enables the entire part to be tempered homogenously and close to the surface. This is achieved by combining the benefits of different manufacturing processes, such as the design freedom of casting in large-volume applications and of laser melting in more intricate applications. Other topics that will be covered at the forum include the potential for additive tool manufacturing in agricultural mechanical engineering, the optimisation potential of a laser melted tool insert used as a 3D printed casting mould in the manufacture of lightweight drive components, and the effects of cooling along contours on quality and productivity in injection moulding and high pressure die casting. The manufacture of high-performance tools for sheet metal forming using laser melting technology, and the application of diffusion bonding for manufacturing large-scale assemblies using additive processes, will also be covered at the forum.
The Trade Forum Tool, Mould and Fixture Making is part of Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D, which takes place from 20 to 22 June 2017 at Messe Erfurt. The conference programme also includes the Trade Forums Contract Additive Manufacturing, Electronic Engineering, Design and Medical Technology on 20 June, the Trade Forums Automotive Industry and 3D Metal Printing on 21 June and the Trade Forums Aviation and Fraunhofer Additive Manufacturing Alliance on 22 June. The Users Conference and the Trade Forum AM Science will be held on 21 and 22 June respectively.
Alongside the conference programme, companies, research institutions and networks will be demonstrating their latest AM solutions at the accompanying trade show on all three days. While Rapid.Tech focuses on industrial applications, FabCon 3.D’s 3D Printing Conference serves as a meeting place for the international 3D Printing community, bringing together creative start-ups, prominent players and hobbyists. Some 200 exhibitors from ten countries are expected to attend. The trade show duo will this year welcome companies from Italy, Poland, Russia and the US.
In 2016, 4,500 (2015: 3,971) trade visitors and conference attendees from 19 countries, and 176 exhibitors from 17 countries, travelled to Erfurt for Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D. These figures represented new records both for the trade show and the conference.