Research can cut back prices and time within the manufacturing of polymer elements

As a MADE PhD at Technical University of Denmark, Michael Mischkot has been concerned within the improvement of 3D printed inserts for injection molds.

The inserts are modest in measurement – not that a lot larger than a thumbnail. Nevertheless, they inform the story of an enormous potential for Danish manufacturing.

“If you have a pilot production or a small batch of plastic items that are to be manufactured using traditional injection molding, it may take 6-8 weeks to produce the mold and it may be a very expensive process,” Michael Mischkot explains.

“Producing this insert for injection molds with the help of 3D printing may only take a few days and will not be a costly affair. It is actually a manufacturing process that reduces delivery time from weeks to days and enables a cost reduction of 90 percent in certain scenarios,” he continues.

In 2013, Michael Mischkot moved from Austria to Denmark and the Technical University of Denmark to do his PhD throughout the MADE analysis actions in 3D printing and new manufacturing processes.

The goal was to determine 3D printing as a technique to fabricate injection molding inserts with the identical precision and accuracy as typical manufacturing processes, thereby fulfilling industrial necessities. Especially in low quantity manufacturing, pilot manufacturing, and the manufacturing of prototypes, that is extremely demanded.

Michael’s answer, which has given him a nomination for the Alexander Foss MADE Award for 2 consecutive years, is predicated on creating sturdy plastic inserts for the costlier injection molds.

These inserts are additively manufactured in photopolymer – a liquid plastic material that cures and hardens when getting involved with UV radiation. It is a comparatively quick and low cost course of with a excessive diploma of freedom of design.

– Polymers are among the many four-five most vital supplies that we use in business, and injection molding is without doubt one of the most related methods to fabricate plastic gadgets. Bearing these two info in thoughts, it’s straightforward to comprehend the potential of this know-how, Michael Mischkot says.

A significant a part of his analysis has been specializing in extending the life span of the inserts for injection molds. This has required steady improvement and assessments of the 3D printed inserts.

“The life span of the insert is not as long as for a regular injection mold in steel which can produce up to millions of units. Nevertheless, during the project period we have managed to increase the life span of an insert by a factor of 200 under certain conditions,” Michael Mischkot emphasizes.

During his PhD mission, the younger Austrian researcher has acquired a deep perception into Danish business and into wants and challenges of Danish manufacturing companies. Two of the most important Danish companies, Danfoss and the LEGO Group, have been two of the mission companions in Michael’s analysis.

However, based on Michael Mischkot, 3D printing of injection molding inserts is related to a variety of Danish manufacturing companies, due to the potential financial savings and the enhancements within the manufacturing processes:

“In my opinion, the method is relevant to most industries manufacturing products and objects in polymer by injection molding. Many industries do that. For instance, we also investigated the manufacturing of medical devices using this method.”

Source: DTU


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