In manufacturing, 3D printing has turned the production of injection molded prototypes into a quick, easy and inexpensive process. Read on and watch how Stratasys PolyJet 3D printing technology helps a team at Budapest University create an injection mold with POM (acetal) for functional testing at dramatically reduced time and cost.
Commissioned to produce a fan that provides enhanced car engine cooling and reduced noise, Dr. Jozsef Gabor Kovács, Department of Polymer Engineering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics (www.pt.bme.hu), and his team needed to find an efficient, inexpensive method of producing injection molded prototypes to test the fan in the end-product material.
Engine cooling fan made from POM (acetal) using a Stratasys 3D printed injection mold
The design and development process involved subjecting the fan to extreme functional tests on a tight deadline, so the team had to produce iterations extremely quickly. Conventional methods of producing molds, such as CNC manufacturing with steel, are significantly more expensive and time-consuming, and therefore impractical for multiple design iterations. So Kovács took the innovative approach of using the Objet500 Connex multi-material 3D Printer using digital ABS material to produce the injection molds.