3D printed extrusion tools
3D printed extrusion tools.

3D manufacturing halves lead time

Thanks to 3D technology, the company Trelleborg Sealing Profiles halved the manufacturing time for their extrusion tool, and even shorter times are possible.  

Together, Swerea and Trelleborg Sealing Profiles used 3D technology to manufacture extrusion tools. The goal was to assess work methodology and quality in the 3D printing of metal.

3D scanning of existing tool

The first step involved scanning the existing tool to form a base from which to work. Using the base, a digital model was created which was then used to print the tool. The tool was finally heat treated and cleaned. 

It takes around four weeks to manufacture a new extrusion tool. In the project, which tested the 3D technology, the lead time was halved. It is hoped that manufacturing time can be reduced even further.

3D technology enables flexibility

3D technology has numerous benefits. Among other things, it is much easier to introduce changes into production and a product's usability can be determined much faster. The 3D manufactured tools have been tested in production and have demonstrated good properties. Some research work remains however, such as optimising the surface's properties.

Extrusion

Extrusion is a manufacturing technique in which material is pressed through a die in order to produce a finished product.