Laser sintering Direct metal laser sintering: Rebuild, don’t replace
Switzerland / Czech Republic – If you could rebuild a damaged or worn-out mould insert instead of replacing it with a new one, wouldn’t you? By Christiana M. Fuges
Repairing damaged mould inserts is a growth area for additive manufacturing, particularly for direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). Rather than replacing damaged tools, DMLS can be used to quickly repair only the damaged areas, resulting in simplified repair, decreased downtime, longer operating life and reduced costs associated with maintenance and repair.
Welding has limitations, is time-consuming
Conventional repair processes can require multiple steps and be time-consuming. Welding, for example, requires cutting out the broken or worn area, fixing a new block of steel, performing the welding and completely re-machining the insert. It also can involve additional steps such as machining, polishing, testing, etc., and it has limitations, such as the durability of the repair.
The need for faster, more economical ways to repair mould inserts has opened the door for DMLS. Two companies, Ecoparts (Switzerland) and Innomia (Czech Republic), have walked through that door and now offer customers the speed and cost advantages of DMLS tool repair. Innomia provides plastic and metal part design and development using reverse engineering, 3D scanning and additive manufacturing. Ecoparts is an EOS service provider that produces prototypes, short runs and tool inserts, as well as hot runner water-cooled gate inserts, for the mould and die and mechanical engineering industries.
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