Mantle announced the commercial launch and availability of its metal 3D printing technology for toolmaking. The system simplifies how mold tool components are made and accelerates how manufacturers making molded parts – a $265 billion market – go from product idea to launch.
Mantle’s technology reduces the time to create tooling components by eliminating or reducing many of the operations traditionally required to make precise, durable steel tool components.
The launch follows the successful delivery of beta systems to customers. Westminster Tool, a precision moldbuilder in Plainfield, Connecticut, installed a beta system and is integrating it into its moldmaking operations.
“Mantle far surpasses any additive metal technology that we have seen previously,” commented Ray Coombs, president and founder of Westminster Tool. “The precision and quality we get off the printer allow us to bypass many of our internal manufacturing processes, which gives us an advantage in providing a better, faster product for our customers.”
Mantle’s solution is designed for ease of installation and use.
“There is a massive skills gap in the injection moldmaking industry,” commented Hillary Thomas, Westminster Tool vice president. “Mantle’s technology is so simple to use that, with minimal training, we can have someone operating and running this machine. Mantle will help Westminster Tool change how we do business.”
Mantle’s system and patented TrueShape technology include:
The P-200 printer, a hybrid system built on a CNC platform that integrates printing and machining to produce parts with the accuracy and surface finish required for tooling. The P-200 printer has a build volume of 200mm x 200mm x 150mm.
The F-200 furnace, which sinters parts from the printer and produces tooling components that are durable and accurate. One furnace can sinter multiple parts and can support multiple printers.
Two tool steel materials, H13 and P2X (a steel comparable to P20), that are durable, stable, and perform like traditional tool steels with secondary operations like machining, polishing, coating, and laser welding. Easy-to-use software that automates the printing process, including the generation of all toolpaths and machine instructions.
Mantle P-200 printer and F-200 Furnace
The company also announced several examples of recent customer successes, including:
Fathom Manufacturing, one of North America’s largest on-demand digital manufacturing platforms, reduced its toolmaking time by 45% with components made by Mantle’s technology. Fathom reduced its toolmaking operations from 200 hours to 110 hours by eliminating or reducing several operations, including CNC milling, EDM, and polishing.
Tessy Plastics, a global contract manufacturer specializing in injection molding and custom automated assembly solutions, surpassed 1.25 million cycles on a production mold built with Mantle components. The mold, which makes deodorant packaging, contains both Mantle H13 and P2X tool steel components and demonstrates the durability of Mantle’s steels in a demanding production environment. Tessy Plastics also realized a time savings of 60%, from 150 hours to 60 hours.
Nicolet Plastics, a full-service custom plastic injection molding company with three facilities in Wisconsin, will be installing one of Mantle’s first production systems.
“As an injection molder, Mantle allows us to bring additional tool production in-house and increase the complexity of the tools and inserts we manufacture. We will significantly reduce the time it takes to produce production-quality tools and be able to start production in weeks versus months,” stated Tony Cavalco, Nicolet Plastics CEO. “Our Tool Designers and Project Managers will utilize our Mantle system for projects involving high-volume part manufacturing. Mantle will allow us to design conformal cooling channels to reduce molding cycle time and ensure the highest quality products for our customers.”
Delivery of the first production systems is planned for the first half of 2023. Mantle will showcase its solution in booth #433136 at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) September 12-17 in Chicago, IL.
For ore information, please visit www.mantle3d.com.
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