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Driving the Intelligent Manufacturing and Upgrading of Mold Industry-Outstanding Advantages of Metal 3D Printing Technology

Author: LiM laser

Time:2023-08-07

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With the accelerated development of the manufacturing industry, enterprises have increasingly stringent requirements for mold accuracy, structural complexity, production cycle and cost, and traditional mold manufacturing technology can no longer fully meet market demand. Among the many new technologies,Metal 3D printing technologyWith its unique technical advantages, it brings new development direction for the mold industry to reduce cost, increase efficiency and improve quality.

Mold conformal cooling water circuit

Metal 3D printing technology can realize the integration of complex structures and is widely used in the manufacture of mold conformal cooling waterways. In order to better control the mold temperature, reduce waste, shorten cycle time, improve dimensional stability and surface finish, and promote demoulding, some molds need to design cooling or heating pipelines. The traditional CNC process can produce straight cooling or heating channels in the mold, but the process is difficult to process spiral and other complex shapes of conformal cooling or heating channels, with the help of metal 3D printing technology, the design of random waterways can be efficiently realized:

  • Efficient control of mold temperature, increase cooling flow, equalization of cavity temperature,improve forming quality;

  • Effectively shorten the cooling time,Improve production efficiency.

Reference for design effect of conformal waterway

The following figure shows the mold section display with conformal cooling water path manufactured by the LiM laser team. the size is 63mm × 36mm × 90mm, and the material is mold steel (MS1). the Rockwell hardness of the display is higher than 50 (the hardness index meets the quality requirements of the first-class mold). the surface roughness of the blank can approach VDI 39 standard (the shape roughness of the printed part is Ra6.3 ~ Ra12.5μm). in actual production, while improving the yield of parts, the injection cycle can be shortened by more than 30%.

Conformal waterway exhibition

The display is printed using LiM-X260A series equipment. The forming size of the equipment is 260mm * 260mm * 430mm, which can meet the printing needs of most small molds.

LiM-X260A Series Equipment

Metal 3D Printing Die Steel (MS1) Parts

Different uses of the mold working conditions, the die steel (MS1) performance requirements are also different, mainly reflected in the hardness, strength, wear resistance, toughness, etc., especially hardenability, hardenability, which is the difficulty of mold manufacturing.

The traditional process of making molds has a long cycle, poor hardenability, and also faces the problem of cracking in the quenching process. Parts produced by metal 3D printing often have better mechanical properties such as strength and hardness; generally, they can be used after the heat treatment process releases internal stress without quenching.

Metal 3D printing packaging bottle mold

The following figure shows the cross hole structure of die steel (MS1) printed by metal 3D. Its cross hole diameter is 10mm-20mm, and it can still maintain good roundness of the cross hole. It is proved that the material can support waterway design with a maximum diameter of about 20mm, and print and form in any path in the part. The roughness of the side wall of the vertical hole of the waterway is close to Ra3.6μm.

Transverse hole structure of LiM laser printing

WithMetal 3D printing technologyContinuous development, will be more widely used in the mold industry, with complex design free forming, small batch trial economy, high material utilization and other significant advantages, to solve the pain points faced by the mold industry. LiM laser will continue to deepen the mold industry, focus on the overall solution of metal 3D printing technology, relying on high-quality, high-efficiency equipment, help mold industry users to improve quality and efficiency, drive to improve the level of mold intelligence.

 

Metal 3D printing technology

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