Additive Manufacturing | 1 MINUTE READ

3D-Printed Conformal Cooling Backed by Linear AMS Expertise

The company has years of expertise as both a tool builder and injection molder to support additive manufacturing of conformal cooled mold inserts. 


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“One of the best uses of additive manufacturing is in tooling,” says John Tenbusch, founder and president of Linear AMS, a Livonia, Michigan-based injection molder and mold manufacturer. As an early adopter of metal 3D printing technology for conformal cooled inserts, Linear has the experience to back up this claim.

Following a brief stint under the majority ownership of Moog (a manufacturer primarily serving the aerospace industry), the company is back under Tenbusch’s leadership and recommitted to injection mold tooling and low-volume parts manufacturing. Linear’s technical skill and know-how in these areas are on display throughout NPE2018.

Founded in 2003 as Linear Mold and Engineering, the company has years of experience in using laser-based powder-bed additive manufacturing (AM) to 3D print conformal cooled inserts. These complex pieces, with cooling lines that twist and curve to follow the contours of the mold, can speed the injection molding process and improve part quality. As both a tool builder and injection molder, Linear AMS has seen the benefits firsthand.

“Conformal cooling in injection molding is a no-brainer,” says Lou Young, Linear president. But what isn’t so obvious is how to design and manufacture those conformal cooled inserts.

That’s where Linear’s expertise comes in. Creating conformal cooled inserts involves more than just hitting “print” on an additive machine. The process first requires analysis and engineering to design an effective insert, as well as material knowledge and expertise in the AM system used to produce it.

Developing the knowledge to do this requires a substantial amount of time and money in R&D. “We’ve already been down that road,” says Tenbush, adding that as a result, the company can run “the whole gamut on tooling,” from engineering through 3D printing. (The one service it doesn’t offer is finishing, leaving that step up to the tool shops that purchase inserts.)

Attendees can learn more about Linear AMS’s conformal cooling and low part production capabilities in Booth S23160.

In addition, Lou Young will present “The Greatest Impact of AM: Conformal-Cooled Inserts” on May 9, at 1:45 p.m. during the 3D Printing Workshop.