nanofabrica Tera 250 AM machine

Nanofabrica’s 3D printed tooling invites challenges

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Nanofabrica has announced its injection moulding shooting of small extremely tight tolerance parts utilising its 3D printed tools.

Having shot nearly 1,000 parts from a single direct rapid soft tooling (DRST) made using its technology, Nanofabrica is pushing to increase awareness of the progress made in the sector.

The company has succeeded in injecting PP, PE, and ABS into a 3D printed mould, which was manufactured with a new material that the company has developed.

According to Nanofabrica, moulds typically take around an hour to manufacture and cost in the region of $20, and have been used on an Arburg 35 ton injection moulding machine using pressures of 400 bar at 230oC.

The company is now asking for OEMs to assess the effectiveness of DRST made on the its Tera 250 3D printer, inviting interested parties to send them part files from which it will 3D print a tool, then shoot parts and return them for analysis.

Nanofabrica CEO Jon Donner, said of the invitation: “Until now, AM produced DRST has been regarded as sub-optimal when viewed through the prism of surface finish, precision, accuracy, and repeatability and also in terms of the limited number of materials that can be processed.

“Nanofabrica’s AM process reaches micron-level resolution which means high surface finish, and the requirements of tooling can be achieved without the time-consuming and costly need to cut steel.”

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Nanofabrica states that it has focussed on optimising the design of the DRST and also improving the materials that the tools are made of, to make the process more robust.

“Multiple tools can be made in a single build, so it is easy to see how the manufacture of DRST can suddenly be an eye opener,” added Donner.

For the price of one $10,000 hard steel mold tool, Nanofabrica claims users can produce 500 AM manufactured soft tools. If each tool produces in the region of 1,000 parts, then nearly half a million parts can be quickly produced with the added benefits of tool designs that can be adapted and evolved for individual customer preferences, or changes in market requirements.

DEVELOP3D readers interested in trialing the Nanofabrica produced DRST should get in touch here.