Home Applications & Case Studies AVK and DTI optimize injection moulding production with 3D printing

AVK and DTI optimize injection moulding production with 3D printing

AVK, a company that manufactures valves for fire protection, gas supply, drinking water and waste water, has investigated the use of metal 3D printing in collaboration with the Danish Technological Institute. The aim of this collaboration was to improve control over production and increase the quality of the end products.

As part of the project, a core was developed for a larger injection mold that enables temperature and distribution control of the molten plastic. This leads to fewer defects and reduces the need for reworking. Nils Paaske from AVK Holding A/S explains that the decision to use 3D printing was due to the need to place an inlet inside the part. This inlet generates heat that cannot be dissipated without an integrated cooling system, and this cooling system can be realized through 3D printing.

“We chose to use 3D printing because we need to place an inlet inside the part. This feature means that we will be dealing with some energy that we cannot remove without having a cooling system integrated into the part. And this cooling system can be created using 3D printing”, said Nils Paaske, AVK Holding A/S.

A key aspect of the design is the integrated cooling channels, which run under the surface of the part like a metro network. These channels allow AVK to blow cold air through the part to lower the temperature. In addition, an insulating layer is placed around the central inlet through which the hot plastic flows to prevent the plastic in the inlet from cooling and solidifying prematurely.

“3D printing has helped us produce a part that is so precise that post-processing is unnecessary. By eliminating post-processing, we avoid a lot of clamping in production, where you have to account for part variance. Moreover, it also allows us to begin automating more processes”, said Michael Mortensen, R&D Manager at AVK.

The new core provides a more consistent production and eliminates the need for post-molding processing. This results in savings in terms of time, materials, energy consumption, and CO2 emissions”,  said Kristoffer Ryelund, Danish Technological Institute.

These advances show how 3D printing technologies can revolutionize the production and optimization of complex industrial components. AVK and the Danish Technological Institute impressively demonstrate how additive manufacturing technologies can be used to improve production processes and the quality of end products.

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