3D Metal Printing How a greener 3D printing technology reduces cycle times for mould tools

From Alexander Stark

A novel 3D metal printing technique from a Doncaster-based precision engineering business reduces the company's environmental impact and that of its customers. Agemaspark spent several years developing and trialling the new technology, which reduces cycle times for multi-impression mould tools.

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Using 3D metal printing machinery, Agemaspark can deliver the highly efficient advanced manufacturing process through a conformal cooling technique.
Using 3D metal printing machinery, Agemaspark can deliver the highly efficient advanced manufacturing process through a conformal cooling technique.
(Source: Agemaspark)

Using 3D metal printing machinery, Agemaspark can deliver an efficient advanced manufacturing process through a conformal cooling technique. The technique improves the efficiency of a mould by as much as 20 percent, reducing the amount of energy required and the environmental impact of the process. As well as being more cost-effective, the process is more eco-friendly and offers Agemaspark's customers — which include companies in the aerospace and oil and gas industries – a chance to reduce their carbon footprint.

Paul Stockhill, managing director at Agemaspark, said: “The conformal cooling process is a much cleaner way to make tooling and components. The insert production for the tooling being made from 3D metal additive manufacturing uses far less energy than conventional steel works and manufacturing techniques.”

In developing the technology, the team quickly realised it could be a game-changer in reducing the company's impact on the environment, as well an eco-friendlier option for customers. It comes as the company launches several green initiatives, including developing a micro cooling water supply equipment to control tooling processes. Agemaspark is also investing in new, more efficient machinery to minimise the company's environmental footprint.

Stockhill added that there is potential to make the process even more eco-friendly as the company explores other markets and more tooling opportunities are proven. In some cases, an improvement of up to 40 percent could be achieved, he added.

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