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3D Printing Services For The Tooling Industry

i3DMFG 3D Printing Tooling Industry

DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) is a 3D printing process that revolutionizes mold tool design and production. 3D CAD models drive the machine to fuse micro-layers of powder together using 400W lasers on 20 to 40 micron layers of metal powder, creating a nearly 100% dense, fully functional production mold tool. DMLS can “print” conformal cooling lines, lattice geometries, and complex core/cavity designs that are too costly or simply impossible to traditionally manufacture. This opens up unlimited options for engineers to incorporate internal channels, curved features, cooling and heating efficiencies, varied layers throughout a single mold, and flexible interchangeable mold designs.

i3D™ Manufacturing can print mold core/cavities in days, giving end-use customers competitive advantages in time-to-market, product development, and small batch production. Our Aluminum and Tool Steel, and Stainless Steel mold tools can be post-processed in all of the same ways as cast or machined parts, from polishing to welding to annodization.

Horizontal Injection Mold Tools

DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) eliminates traditional design-for-manufacture constraints because 3D models drive 400W lasers to fuse micro-layers of powder together in linear and organic shapes. Since the DMLS part is grown layer by layer, in tens of thousands of layers, complex internal geometries, conformal cooling channels, micro-channels, latticed and honeycombed designs, and free-form shapes are all easily manufacturable. Conformal cooling channels greatly improve part production efficiencies and allow designers to incorporate varied wall thicknesses and part improvements that were confined by traditional mold tool linear cooling line limitations.

DMLS produces final production quality mold cores and cavities that can be finished just like machined or cast parts. With i3D MFG™’s DMLS production, injection molders can now offer their clients tool design, manufacture, and part production in as little as 3 weeks. The process is all on-shore, protecting customer designs and costly tool change time and shipping.

Vertical Injection Mold Tools

DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) in Aluminum and Tool Steel allows i3D MFG™ to 3D print Morgan Press mold blocks in days and post process to any finish requirements for up to 30% less than CNC molds. Typically, the more complex the cavity requirements, the more economical the DMLS process will be. With densities approaching 100%, any traditional post-process finish is possible. Printed held tolerances up to +/- 0.002 enable precise design manufacturing with the option to add material and post process to even tighter tolerances but from a much closer starting point than typically seen in traditional machine or cast parts, thereby reducing costly hand-finish costs. The process is all on-shore, protecting customer designs and costly tool change time and shipping.

Interchangeable Core/Cavity Blocks                         

i3D MFG™ owns North America’s first EOS M290 DMLS 3D printing machine. As an official Material Process Applications (MPA) for EOS, i3D MFG™ prides itself on its DMLS material and 3D print application innovations. Our interchangeable mold tool core/cavity universal base provides injection molders flexibility in switching out core/cavities in small and medium batch runs at economical tooling and change-over costs.

With the latest, highest quality equipment i3D MFG™ is able to achieve densities at nearly 100%, allowing for any finish requirements to the various 3D printed core/cavities. Lattice and honeycomb designs specially tailored for optimal part cooling and heating add more value to the mold block design options. Injection molders can offer their clients tool design, manufacture, and part production in as little as 3 weeks. The process is all on-shore, protecting customer designs and costly tool change time and shipping.

Metals We Print

i3D MFG™ offers one of the largest selections of DMLS standard metal powders in the U.S. We are one of the few 3D manufacturers specializing in Titanium and Inconel and are the EOS North America MPA (Material Process Applications) partner specializing in custom metal powder applications. Our engineers are experts in Design-for-3D strategies, enabling our customers to realize significant competitive advantages in design and proprietary advancements.

Visit Our DMLS Library

Aluminum (Al)

AlSi12 is our most common DMLS Aluminum powder and is perfect for projects with good thermal and low weight considerations.  It is an optimal metal for parts with thin walls and complex geometries.

Titanium (Ti)

Ti64 is the standard DMLS powder which is well suited for Medical, Aerospace, Firearms, Energy and Automotive projects requiring corrosion resistance, strength, weight reduction and biocompatibility.

Stainless Steels

PH1 is a medical grade, sterilisable, corrosion resistant steel. It is primarily used in Medical, Firearms, Energy and Automotive applications. After heat treatment, PH1 hardens to 40-45 HRC. Our stainless steel equivalents include 15-5, 17-4, and .316. Parts made from DMLS stainless steel PH1 can be machined, spark-eroded, welded, micro shot-peened, polished and coated if required.

Maraging Steel

Our maraging steel powder has excellent strength and mechanical properties. MS1 is a pre-alloyed, ultra high strength steel powder most commonly used for tooling applications. Its chemical composition corresponds to U.S. 18% Ni Maraging 300, European 1.2709 and German X3NiCoMoTi 18-9-5. After heat treatment, MS1 typically has a 50-53 HRC.

Inconel (IN718)

IN718 is a DMLS nickel; A Chromium alloy with superior heat resistance and typical heat treatment hardness of 40-47 HRC (370-450HB).  Rocket, space, aerospace, firearms, energy, and automotive industries rely on Inconel.

Custom Powders

i3D MFG™ is the market leader is DMLS powder development. In addition to our established metallurgical partnerships, i3D™ is the first North American EOS Material Process Application (MPA) Development Partner, giving us access to the latest DMLS machine parameter sets and enabling i3D™ to develop highly specialized powder applications for aerospace, rocket, automotive, and casting customers.

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