Thank you to our guest blogger, Nic Neath, of Formech, Inc.
Dimension 3D Printing Systems have proven themselves as an efficient and cost-effective method of creating tooling for Formech’s wide range of vacuum forming machines. The combination of a Dimension 3D printer and a Formech vacuum forming machine can be found in the model shops of companies across the globe. They depend on these machines to quickly prove out concepts and create samples that can be used for sales models and market testing. What used to take days has been reduced to hours and now companies can afford to bring these capabilities in house, saving both time and money.
Here are some tips to remember when designing 3D printed molds intended for use on a vacuum forming machine:
- Print your FDM molds using the ‘sparse fill’ option. This will allow air to easily move through the tool, therefore maximizing the amount of detail on the finished part. It also will aid in the release of the plastic from the part once the forming process is done
- Beveled edges and draft angels also make for an easy release once your plastic is formed. Here’s a great example illustrated with a clam shell mold used for packaging
- Let your imagination go wild. With both of these technologies at arm’s length, you can now test concepts affordably, therefore leading to more innovative products