TOOLING: 3D Printed Mold Inserts With Conformal Cooling

DME teams up with an expert in 3D printing of metal powders.

The DME brand of Milacron Holdings Corp., Madison Heights, Mich., has partnered with Linear AMS (a Moog Company), Livonia, Mich., to offer metal 3D-printed molds with conformal cooling. Unlike conventional cooling with straight, gun-drilled cooling channels, conformal cooling can employ complex arrangements of curved and coiled channels that conform closely to the shape of the core or cavity insert. Cycle-time reductions up to 60% reportedly have been obtained in real-world applications.

Linear AMS has more than 12 years’ experience in building 3D-printed conformal-cooling mold inserts. It uses direct metal laser melting (DMLM) technology, a 3D printing process that is said to produce components that are extremely dense and stronger than metal parts produced by direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). In cooperation with Linear AMS, DME is offering DMLM cavities and cores with conformal cooling under the TruCool name. The DME TrueCool solution starts with a detailed review of the moldmaker’s and/or molder’s requirements. With advanced 3D CAD modeling and FEA software, the DME technology team can simulate the optimized cooling-channel design. Then the moldmaker receives the conformal cooling (and/or venting) optimized mold cavity or core with a hardness up to 56 HRC and with an additional +0.025 in. rough metal to allow for finishing the cavity or core’s part surface. Every TruCool component is material, flow, and pressure tested before shipment.