Avante Technology, LLC, a specialist in the development of advanced 3D printing materials, announced today the release of FilaOneTM GRAY Advanced Composite Injection Molding Grade filament.
This carbon nanotube reinforced composite is designed for printing injection molding tools for short run production of parts using a wide range of common thermoplastics.
“Toolmakers can now print simple soft tooling in a day and start injection molding parts the next day”, said Robert Zollo, President of Avante Technology. “If the part needs modification, you can print a revised mold and be molding with the revised tooling within 24 hours.”
This low cost, fast turn-around approach compares favorably with metal soft tooling made in Asia, which typically takes a month or more to deliver at cost of thousands of dollars for each iteration of the mold.
- This proprietary composite filament was formulated to provide the following unique charac- teristics for 3D printed molds:
- printable on specified desktop FDM printers costing less than $10,000.
- able to with-stand the temperatures and pressures of injection molding process
- surface of printed molds can be polished or textured
- mold cavity surface supports use of off-the-shelf release agents
- durable enough to handle the heat fluctuations of many injection molding cycles
This composite material is mechanically strong and exhibits a relatively high rate of heat transfer for a thermoplastic based composite. Notwithstanding its high strength, it is very light, with a density of approximately 1 gram per cubic centimeter.
Based on Avante’s internal testing of 3D printed tooling, the cost per cubic inch of printed injection molds will be less than $2.50 per cubic inch ($0.15 per cubic cm), for most parts. This compares quite favorably with aluminum or steel mold costs.
“Our printed mold approach is ideal for molding 10 to 1,000 parts at a cost that is 50% to 90% cheaper than conventional methods”, said Zollo. “Our composite materials are developed and produced here in the USA. Why spend more money for off-shore tooling and wait a month, when you can start injection molding in days using our American made material?”
FilaOneTM GRAY High Performance Composite Injection molding grade filament comes as part of a 3D printing kit that includes a 0.5Kg reel of filament and a companion printing adhesion sheet to ensure proper adhesion during printing. It is available in 1.75 and 2.88 mm diameter configurations which contain sufficient material to print 90 to 150 cubic inches of tooling, depending print strategy. U.S. price for each kit is $299.00.
FilaOneTM GRAY Injection Molding Grade filament will be available in November, in North America through through the Avante Technology web store and in Europe through Avante’s Europe partner, PDO Europe GmbH in Wiesbaden, Germany.