3. Improvements in mold design add more functionality to the end product
In general, the special metallurgical methods of 3D printing improve the metal microstructure and produce fully dense printed parts that have the same mechanical or physical properties as those of forged or cast materials (depending on heat treatment and test direction).
Additive manufacturing offers engineers unlimited options to improve mold design. When the target part consists of several sub-parts, 3D printing has the ability to integrate design and reduce the number of parts. This simplifies the product assembly process and reduces tolerances.
In addition, it is able to integrate complex product features, enabling high-performance end products to be manufactured faster and with fewer product defects. For example, the overall quality of an injection molded part is affected by the heat transfer conditions between the injected material and the cooling fluid flowing through the mold. If the mold is made using conventional techniques, the passage that directs the cooling medium is generally straight, resulting in a slower and uneven cooling effect in the mold.
And 3D printing can realize any shape of cooling water channel (ie, conformal cooling water channel) to ensure the conformal cooling, more optimized and uniform, and finally get higher quality plastic parts and lower scrap rate. In addition, the faster removal of mold heat can significantly reduce the cycle of injection molding because, in general, the cooling time can account for up to 70% of the entire injection molding cycle.