HASCO, makers of standardized mold products, faced a common design challenge. Their initial design for an ABS plastic sealing screw required a wall thickness too large for traditional injection molding. So they redesigned the part using a thinner wall, but instead of creating an aluminum tool to test the design, they 3D printed the mold design using Stratasys additive manufacturing technology.
The use of a 3D printed prototype tool, using an Objet Connex printer, allowed for a record turnaround of four days—including just six hours to 3D print the mold. HASCO was able to use the highly detailed PolyJet 3D printing technology to include inserts and slides into the design. It was an uncommon solution to a common redesign issue that saved significant cost, but perhaps more importantly allowed for much faster design validation before comitting to expensive metal tooling. HASCO has noted this test of 3D printing for injection mold tooling has greatly impressed them and they look forward to more of what can be done with this technology.
“With time-to-market cycles shorter than ever and production quantities dropping, our customers are now looking for solutions that enable them to deliver prototypes quickly and cost-effectively,” says Dirk Paulmann, Executive Vice President, Sales & Business Development at HASCO
Compatibility with Quick-Change System
Also notable in this test is how the Objet printer can form molds that fit within HASCO’s K3500
quick-change system. This brings an additional level of flexibility to the use of 3D printing in rapid prototyping and low volume production using injection molding.
If you want to explore more details about HASCO's experience with Stratasys, download the full press release.