Industrial 3D printer manufacturer EOS has partnered with GF Machining Solutions, and we think the results could be quite interesting.
EOS is a long-time manufacturer of industrial 3D printers, both high-resolution powder-based nylon machines as well as metal powder 3D printers using their Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS™) technology. Meanwhile, GF Machining Solutions is a long-time provider of mold-making solutions to industry using conventional milling technologies.
The two parties have agreed to work together on molds and dies, each leveraging the other’s technologies.
This means they will be able to create industrial molds not previously possible. For example, they can together do this:
The additive manufacturing technology offers for such customers the possibility to generate metal inserts featuring cooling close to the surface, thus allowing for a shorter mold cooling sequence and therefore a much faster plastic injection cycle.
This is a very important change for manufacturers. Typically the cost of an injection molded item is largely based on amortizing the usually high cost of producing the original mold over the number of copies made with it. This is limited by time. For example, a $50,000 mold might be able to produce, say, 10,000 units within a given time period. What if an advanced mold could make that 15,000, or 20,000 units within the same period? The costs of production go down.
Lower costs of production could mean any or all of the following:
- More sales of molded products
- Lower costs to consumers of molded products
- More profit to the manufacturer of molded products
- New customers and uses for lower cost molded products
All of which is good.
This form of collaboration is, we believe, the future of industrial 3D printing: making more advanced products in a more efficient manner.