A new industry partnership has seen the launch of a new line of metal 3D-printed conformal cooling products designed to improve productivity in the moulding industry.
The new ‘TruCool’ line of products is the culmination of a partnership between DME, part of the Milacron Group, and Linear AMS, a Moog company, aimed at helping moludmakers and moulders with their mould cooling.
The new conformal cooling solution utilises a cutting edge, direct metal-laser-melting 3D printing process to produce highly complex cavities, cores, and components with conformal cooling channels. The process achieves shapes, paths, and channel geometries, which DME says are “impossible to obtain” with conventional tooling.
“We build the unmachineable,” said David Baucus, DME Product Manager. “The Conformal Cooling solution places cooling channels at the optimal distance from the mould surface, consistently following the geometric shape of any mould insert for any customer part, allowing the mould to maintain a targeted, consistent temperature that allows for complete thermal control with cooling times reduced up to 100 percent.
“This technology also allows for conformal venting solutions for those hard to reach areas of trapped gases, when requested by the moulder.”
The DME TruCool Conformal Cooling solution starts with a detailed review of the mouldmakers and/or moulders’ requirements and utilises advanced 3D CAD modelling and F.E.A. software to simulate the most lifelike and optimised cooling channels.
The result, the company says, allows for complex cooling channels with greater overall coverage, even distribution of cooling and the ability to provide individual insert temperature control.
The DME/Linear AMS process uses advanced Direct Metal Laser Melting (DMLM) technology, which is said to be extremely dense and stronger when compared to direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). This allows for lighter weight solutions with improved performance characteristics to create complex shapes and improved reliability.
The mouldmaker receives their Conformal Cooling (and/or venting) optimised mold cavity or core according to the specification of their 3D model, with a hardness up to 56HRC with an additional +.025” rough metal to allow them to finish the cavity or core’s part surface to their own specifications.
The conformal cooling solutions, says DME, will see moulders benefit from significant cycle time reduction, complete and isolated thermal control, significant quality improvements, less scrap, increased flexibility in waterline designs and the ability to visualise flow capabilities and thermal properties.
“Conventional mould cooling has remained largely unchanged for decades. DME’s partnership with Linear AMS is a huge step forward for the industry,” said Peter Smith, DME President.
“Our real world, in-field results show a significantly reduced total cycle time - between 15 and 60 percent depending on part complexity, shortening the time needed to run the part and improving part quality. That’s a significant cost savings every moulder would be interested in. Likewise, OEM/product designers will benefit from the technology as it broadens the scope of part design allowing for advancements in plastic part production and application use.”