Prof. Nader Asnafi
Design and production of tools, dies and moulds are two important steps in the development of new components/products. These steps determine both the lead time (Time-To-Production/-Market) and the size of the investments required to start the production. This paper deals with design and production of stamping tools & dies for sheet metal components and injection moulds for plastic components. Laser-based Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) is the additive manufacturing (henceforth even called 3D printing) method used in this investigation.
The stamping tools & dies should withstand the requirements set in stamping of hot-dip galvanized DP600. Solid and topology optimized forming and cutting/blanking/trimming tools made in maraging steel (DIN 1.2709) by LPBF are approved/certified for stamping of 2 mm thick DP600. A working station in a progressive die used for stamping of 1 mm thick DP600 is 3D-printed in DIN 1.2709, both with a honeycomb inner structure and after topology optimization, with successful results. 3D printing results in a significant lead time reduction and improved tool material efficiency. The cost for 3D-printed stamping tools and dies is somewhat higher than the cost of those made conventionally. DIN 1.2709 is certified in this study as tool material for stamping of hot-dip galvanized DP600.
The core (inserts) of an injection mould is 3D-printed in DIN 1.2709, conformal cooling optimized and 3D-printed in Uddeholm AM Corrax, and compared with the same core made conventionally. Additive manufacturing results in localized tool production and lower total costs. The cooling and cycle time can be improved significantly, if the injection moulding core (inserts) is optimized and 3D-printed in Uddeholm AM Corrax. The best results are obtained, if the 3D-printed core is NOT only an optimized copy of the conventionally designed and manufactured version. The best results are obtained, if the core is redesigned to utilize the full potential of 3D printing.
This paper accounts for the results obtained in the above-mentioned investigations.