3D printed tooling
Tooling is an essential part of the manufacturing process as it involves designing and engineering the tools that are necessary to manufacture parts or components. For many years the only process available to create injection molded parts for testing and design verification was to “soft-tool” using machined aluminum. The cost involved in producing machined aluminum tools and the typical lead-times involved are often expensive and can take weeks.
Now more than ever, engineers are turning to 3D printed tooling to replace traditional techniques to reduce production time and costs. Tools can be 3D printed using DSM’s Somos® PerFORM in just a few days compared to weeks, so product designs and modifications can be tested and verified quickly, ultimately leading to faster time to market. Molds created with Somos PerFORM have a high level of surface smoothness and detail along with high heat resistance and impact strength, allowing for the development of complex molds for various applications and the ability to injection mold with multiple materials.
Somos PerFORM is now available via 3D Hubs, an online service for ordering custom 3D printed and CNC machined parts, where users upload their files to get instant quotes from local service providers. “The collaboration with Somos on 3D printed tooling further expands our network of manufacturing services and product offering,” says Bram de Zwart, CEO 3D Hubs. “We are always targeting to offer our customers cutting edge materials and service. Adding Somos PerFORM to our portfolio expands what our customers can do and allows them to create high quality 3D printed tools.”