Browse Publications Technical Papers 1999-01-0314
1999-03-01

Plastic Manifold Rapid Prototyping Advances 1999-01-0314

The National Research Council of Canada, Siemens Automotive Division and Regal International Tool and Mould Inc. jointly studied the feasibility of the selective laser sintering (SLS) rapid tooling process for making mould inserts for injection moulding of plastic manifold. By overcoming a number of challenges in handling and processing large metal parts for the SLS rapid tooling process, an mould insert as big as 254 mm in diameter and 220 mm high, and weighed 47 kg was successfully fabricated. This is by far the largest metal parts ever made by the SLS process in terms of both part weight and height. The significant extension of the size limits for the SLS rapid tooling process made the technology more useful for the automotive industry, and provided a new method of rapid tooling for injection mould for plastic manifold. Preliminary injection moulding tests with a nylon composite material indicated that the SLS tooling provide promising mechanical properties for rapid prototyping and at least short-run production of various plastic parts.

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