"Tool production in additive manufacturing - underrated topic with great potential or already an old hand in the additive industry?"
Time for Additive! Time for tool production, to be precise. One of the topics in which the subsequent process chain is almost more important than the L-PBF process.
Density, mechanical properties, dimensional accuracy have to be adjusted and adapted to the subsequent processes. Smart process engineering is intended to save costs through systematic process development with a view to reducing costs for subsequent processes (e.g. heat treatment). Machining of functional surfaces is essential, as the level of detail often cannot be achieved in L-PBF. Sticking to dimensional tolerances is the key.
In addition to the process, a smart concept for fixture construction must be developed. How can the component be clamped optimally while keeping functional surfaces, the level of machining and the error rate as low as possible. Reproducibility after L-PBF manufacturing and a flexible fixture is crucial for machining so that a high quality of the component can be realized.
What is your experience by post-processing additive manufactured tools? Do you also see post-processing as a very crucial factor for a successful final component? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments or contact me directly for a quick experience exchange.