GF Machining Solutions seamlessly integrates AM into mold and die process chain
Based on proven EOS technology, the AgieCharmilles AM S 290 Tooling addresses the Mold and Die industry’s need to produce innovative mold inserts with conformal cooling channels. With this new solution, GF Machining Solutions advances the integration of Additive Manufacturing (AM) into the manufacturing process chain. The combination of a System 3R MacroMagnum chuck and specific building plates enables an improved connection from AM to post-processes like Milling, EDM or Laser texturing.
Plastics industry players are aware of the benefits of creating conformal cooling channels inside the molds inserts. They know that these channels can reduce plastic injection’s cycle time, improve final parts quality and limit warpage. The partnership between GF Machining Solutions and EOS optimizes the overall process by providing solutions that reduce the time between the various steps in insert manufacturing. The case study, “Pressure Reduction Valve - DN50,” to be shown at GF Machining Solutions’ International Solution Days 2016 in Schorndorf, Germany, demonstrates the feasibility of such an integration approach based on the adaptations realized in the AgieCharmilles AM S 290 Tooling.
Integrated cooling channels
When conventional machining and AM technologies are linked, both can contribute their individual advantages to the complete process. Thus AM, uniquely suitable for the generation of a 3D conformal cooling system, adds this geometrically complex portion on top of the less complex portion of the mold insert manufactured using a conventional machining center. The resulting hybrid mold insert is the most economical solution for parts characterized by geometrically simple and complex sections. Depending on material and size, such hybrid parts may either be created by directly generating the additively manufactured part on top of the conventional manufactured basis or, as proposed by the example of the pressure reduction valve, by separately finishing both parts and subsequent assembly.
The mold insert manufacturing process is optimized due to the integration of:
- an efficient conformal cooling system realized by AgieCharmilles AM S 290 Tooling,
- unmatched surface finish and precision realized by the Mikron MILL 400U,
- a quick EDM die-sinking process by the AgieCharmilles FORM 200 for details that cannot be realized with any other machining technology, and
- consistent use of System 3R Macro Magnum reference system throughout the entire sequence of machining operations.
Together, GF Machining Solutions and EOS envision the integration of AM into the manufacturing process chain and are moving forward step by step with a realistic, hands-on approach. GF Machining Solutions’ manufacturing solutions and EOS’ AM expertise are an ideal combination to make real things happen.
As a single-source solutions provider, GF Machining Solutions is a global multi-technology leader, with Milling, Spindles, EDM, Laser texturing, Automation, Tooling and, now, AM technologies, to resolve customers’ manufacturing challenges.