3D printing – A revolution in mould making.

Thanks to 3D printing’s ability to make the previously unimaginable possible (especially when it comes to innovative design geometries), it is attracting cross-industry attention, and rightly so. 3D printing is yielding loads of new benefits in mould making as well. As creators of ideas, we recognised these opportunities from the very beginning. This is why we have comprehensive experience in 3D printing for mould making. We rely on the patented LaserCUSING® technology from industry pioneer Concept Laser here. In this process, which was developed in Germany, fine metal powder is fused locally using laser beams. The desired part is constructed layer by layer, whereby the floor of the construction space is repeatedly lowered. After that a new layer of material is applied and then fused locally once again.

3D printing in action

The M2 Cusing Multilaser from Concept Laser enables the reliable processing of aluminium and titanium alloys. The entire process, from construction to removal of the part and powder conditioning, occurs in an oxygen-free atmosphere. This prevents the reactive materials being contaminated with oxygen.

The benefits of 3D printing in mould making

  • Considerably more design options in comparison to conventional production processes
  • Nearly any hollow structures are possible
  • Mechanical properties comparable to conventional steels
  • Innovative ideas and competitive advantages through the introduction of completely new types of functional elements in the mould itself

Select example applications of 3D printing in mould making

Conformal cooling

  • 3D printing using the LaserCusing® process enables nearly limitless design possibilities when it comes to temperature control channels in the mould
  • This enables the cooling of otherwise inaccessible spots
  • The result is energy-efficient processes and the option of highly dynamic alternating temperature control

Learn more about conformal cooling here.

Pneumatic ejector

  • Ejection of parts without mechanical components through additively constructed porous micro-structures
  • Flexible positioning of the ejector area in the mould
  • Versatile use of micro-channels, for example for ventilation or to hold films and depositors

Elastic split line

  • Steel-on-steel seals are hard to implement especially for materials with a low viscosity such as polyurethane. Rubber seals, on the other hand, are highly prone to wear
  • 3D printing with LaserCusing® enables the construction of elastic functional elements directly in the split line
  • This means you’ll profit from burr-free processing of low-viscosity polymers

Materials for 3D printing in mould making

In addition to its nearly limitless design possibilities, 3D printing is also impressive thanks to the variety of materials which can be used. Different metals are used for the additive production of moulds based on the intended purpose of the tool. We’d like to present you with a small selection below. We’d be happy to discuss which materials are most suitable to solve your challenges at a personal meeting with you. Simply contact your idea creators.

CL 20ES stainless steel

Powder stainless steel with a chemical composition in accordance with 1.4404, X 2 CrNiMo 17 13 2, 316L CL 20ES is an austenitic non-rusting steel used in the production of functional parts and mould components for preproduction tools.

CL 50WS hot-working steel

Tool steel 1.2709 in powder form CL 50WS is a powder material used in the production of mould components with conformal cooling for serial injection moulding, pressure casting and functional parts.

CL 91RW stainless hot-working steel

Stainless tool steel in powder form CL 91RW is a hard stainless tool steel with a high chrome content suitable for the production of mould components with conformal cooling for serial injection moulding and stainless parts subjected to a high mechanical load.

Your contact person for R&D

Jonas Beck
T: + 49 9571 766-9661
forschung@hofmann-impulsgeber.de