Agemaspark has developed a new technique for 3D metal printing that reduces the energy required to produce mould tools.
The conformal cooling technique, developed and tested by Doncaster-based Agemaspark over several years, is said to reduce cycle times for multi-impression mould tools, increasing the efficiency of the overall mould creation process by as much as 20 per cent. Agemaspark believes the advance should help reduce its own carbon footprint and that of its customers.
“At a time when we should all be looking at our environmental impact, we are thrilled to offer customers a more efficient, greener technology,” Paul Stockhill, MD at Agemaspark said in a statement.
“The conformal cooling process is a much cleaner way to make tooling and components. The insert production for the tooling being made from 3D metal additive manufacturing uses far less energy than conventional steel works and manufacturing techniques. So, there is a huge reduction in energy use and parts can be produced for the tool in just a few days instead of several weeks.”
The company realised early in the development process that the new technique had the potential to bring economic and environmental benefits to its customers, which include companies in the aerospace and oil and gas sectors. According to the company, initiatives including developing a micro cooling water supply equipment to control tooling processes could help bring further environmental benefits to the company’s operations.
“There is potential to make the process even more eco-friendly as we explore other markets and more tooling opportunities are proven,” Stockhill added.
“In some cases, we can offer up to 40 per cent improvement and this is backed up by proven examples. As designers start to look into what is possible with metal additives, we are in a great place to offer our expertise to make the technology even greener than it is today.”