The tooling sector supports every major market in manufacturing and increasing numbers of tooling applications are integrating metal additive manufacturing to economically produce complex molds. The flexibility of the selective laser melting process allows for tool designs to be rapidly iterated and improved with unique features, such as conformal cooling channels, incorporated into internal geometries improving functionality of the product. Conformal cooling channels make it possible to shorten cycle times, minimize stress loads in the components to be produced and extend the tool life. The ability to quickly produce a precise tool exactly when needed improves workflows and can positively affect profits when production downtime or tooling inventory are costly.
Together with the improved functionality of the tool comes the decreased scrap rate of product and longer service life for the tools. The quality of additively produced tooling components is reflected in fully dense metal parts with mechanical and physical properties comparable to or better than similar cast processes.
Explore how selective laser melting from SLM Solutions can impact supply chains and accelerate tooling innovation.
- Shortened lead times increase innovation of design and time to market
- Free-form channel geometry for higher quality parts and reduced cycle times
- Additive manufacturing encourages tooling customization