This will be the first in a series of informative videos on 3D Printed Composite Tooling. Today we are highlighting a “how to” video that provides an overview of the process. Other posts will include a featured customer success story illustrating the dramatic advantages of the technology and the value it provides for composite tooling, as well as a look at the future of Stratasys additive manufacturing solutions for composite tooling.
Additive manufacturing has many powerful time- and cost-saving applications throughout the manufacturing value chain. One particular area that is rapidly growing in popularity is 3D printed tooling for composite fabrication, enabling parts with more complex geometries to be produced much faster than traditional manufacturing methods.
For example, sacrificial tooling is used to make extremely complex and hollow parts with “trapped tool” geometries, particularly valuable to the aerospace, automotive, and sporting goods industries. Composite materials are laid-up or wrapped around a mold or mandrel, which is then cured at elevated temperatures in an oven or autoclave to consolidate the material and produce the final part shape. The tool itself is then washed out in a detergent bath leaving only the composite structure. Stratasys developed the new ST-130 FDM 3D printing material specifically for sacrificial tooling to withstand elevated temperatures and high pressure cure cycles while allowing tools to be created in a fraction of the time and cost associated with traditional trapped tooling methods. This solution provides an easy-to-use, economical method to produce complex composite parts without the intricacy, labor, and extensive expertise associated with other wash-out, collapsible, or inflatable tooling based approaches.
In this unique “how to” video, we’ll visit Swift Engineering’s Kerry Dang as he takes us through the process step by step of creating a sacrificial tool for a complex, hollow inlet duct.
For more information, download the complimentary Sacrificial Tooling for Composite Part Fabrication Design Guide which covers best practices on the following to ensure success:
- Tool design optimization and construction
- FDM processing parameters
- Composite part fabrication guidelines
- Tool removal procedures
Also available for download is the FDM for Composite Tooling Design Guide, which provides even greater depth on the benefits, materials, characterization data, design optimization, and utilization of printed lay-up mold tooling, as well as detailed examples and customer stories.
Come see Stratasys’ solutions for composite tooling at CAMX, September 27 – 29, Anaheim, Booth F96.