3D Print Molds for Die Casting Faster, With Less Waste and Shipping
Most die castings today are made from the hardest metals and ceramics that are difficult to shape using subtractive techniques. Most are cut using CNC machining centers, with the parts then going through additional process steps for precision and surface finish.
Because manufacturers start with a block of material and cut the die mold to the needed shape, the process creates a tremendous amount of metal waste, typically coated in coolants, so the machining center can cut away the unneeded metal.
With binder jet 3D printing, by contrast, an industrial inkjet prints binder into a bed of metal powder, shaping the tool layer by layer. This process uses only the material that is needed. When the part is finished printing, it goes into a furnace to fuse the particles together into a high-density tool that is near net shape and can then be finished to the precision tolerances and surface finish required.
This process saves a tremendous amount of time and money spent roughing block and can also deliver unique benefits, such as cooling channels and other features not previously possible with traditional machining techniques. Because of the reduced time and cost, design changes require less investment, allowing manufacturers to iterate designs more freely.
ExOne has been developing its X1 DieMold product for die casting in cooperation with several global manufacturers in the transportation sector to ensure they can handle the high pressures and other requirements of traditional die casting processes. We encourage manufacturers interested in developing this product for their application to reach out to ExOne directly at the link below.
- Reduces time spent waiting for CNC machined die molds
- Reduces the metal swarf waste associated with machining die molds
- Often eliminates unnecessary shipping of die molds from off-shore locations
- Reduces the cost of die molds
- Allows for greater design flexibility
- Enables easier design changes to die molds