3D printing is an emerging technology for cost effective rapid production of low volume tooling. Ultem 110 is a versatile 3D printed tooling solution that can be optimised through mold design to be suitable for a variety of tooling applications.
3D printing can be an effective way to manufacture composite tooling. With materials like Ultem 1010 the technology can be used for high temperature composite lay-up and repair tools as well as sacrificial tooling.
The 3D printing process generally has broader tolerances than the CNC milling process used in tooling board and CFRP mold manufacture. The nature of the process also results in a less glossy surface finish. However for the right job it means less material waste and can be done fast.
Another option is to 3D print the mold and follow up with CNC milling to reach the appropriate tolerance and surface quality.
3D printed molds are suitable for the following processes.
Jigs and fixtures
Plyable takes component CAD model and tools are designed.
Molds are 3D printed.
Molds are finished to the customer’s required specification.
Inspected for quality and shipped.