The AddiFab 3D Printed Freeform Injection Moulding (FIM) process, that uses dissolvable tooling to mould complex components, has partnered with 3D printing company Nexa3D to broaden the capabilities for industrial injection moulding with ultrafast, large-format 3D printing.
The FIM process allows the user to additively manufacture complex injection mould tooling in hours instead of weeks or months. These tools are compatible with most traditional thermoplastic materials, including reinforced high-performance feedstocks. They can also be dissolved, which allows the molding of complex components that would otherwise be difficult – or even impossible – to mold with conventional metal tooling.
Through this collaboration, Nexa3D will supply their NXE 400 system – including the industrial 3D printer as well as wash and cure units – to users of Freeform Injection Molding, while Addifab will be supplying their proprietary tooling resins and post-processing equipment.
“Injection moulding is a complex process, and the tool building is the most complex part of the process,” said Addifab CEO Lasse Staal. “With Freeform Injection Moulding, we provide injection moulders with a fully transparent set of tools (no pun intended) that will allow them to fast-track tool designs and validations while raising the bar on tool innovation. Now we can take these capabilities to the next level by partnering with Nexa3D to broaden access and superpower performance.”
“I had the opportunity to witness the powerful impact of FIM for the first time at the RAPID + TCT conference in 2019, and was instinctively intrigued by its potential to reimagine additive tooling,” said Nexa3D CEO Avi Reichental.
“As both Addifab and Nexa3D have since productized and industrialized our respective processes, it became obvious that together, we can achieve much more by digitizing injection molding at convincing scale sustainably. I can’t wait to see the far-reaching impact of our collaboration.”
The companies are setting up joint Silicon Valley demo facility in Palo Alto, CA.