Additive manufacturing company, Office metal today announced the launch of H13 Tool Steel for its user-friendly Studio System Metal 3D Printer.
Widely used in hot and cold work tooling applications, H13 provides stability in heat treatment, hot hardness and abrasion resistance and would be ideal for printing mold inserts, extrusion dies, forging dies and sheet metal tooling, including stamping, embossing, bending and milling.
Ric Fulop, CEO and Co-Founder of Desktop Metal, explained, â€œThis is a key competitive advantage to enable rapid iteration and refinement of tools requiring H13, and reduced lead times. The teams will also be able to produce complex geometries that have not been possible with traditional manufacturing methods such as machining.
H13 tool steel joins 316L and 17-4 PH stainless steels in the Studio System printable material library. Early applications included injection molding core parts for the medical industry, extrusion dies and die casting molds for consumer products.
In one example, the injection mold cores used for molding mouthpieces for asthma inhalers were printed to incorporate conformal cooling channels and increase the cooling rate of the mold which can traditionally represent up to at 95% of the overall cycle time. This reduction allows more parts to be molded every hour.
Chris Aiello, Director of Operations at Alpha Precision Group commented: â€œWear resistance, high hardness, toughness and thermal fatigue resistance are just a few of the advantages of H13. The downside was always that a tool maker wanted to work with it. it is available with the Studio System, all these same advantages will be ready to be deployed in the workshop in a few days rather than a few months.
For apparel, the material was used in making a zipper die-casting mold featuring fine detailing including logo, textures and subtle draft angles that are critical to the success of the molding of the zipper. room. Combined with the improved Studio System’s high-resolution printhead, users can achieve fine details and also save time and costs compared to traditional machining methods.
â€œIn my experience, H13 3D printing for sheet metal forming and stamping tools is an opportunity for a competitive advantage that will be hard to match,â€ said Steve Lynch, Director of Business Development at Macy Industries , Inc. â€œBreaking the standard of how stamping dies are designed and created will be a huge step for engineering, reducing the time and cost of prototyping new ideas.
Other areas of application include the printing of industrial extrusion dies. Manufacturing from H13 tool steel would allow design teams to quickly produce dies with complex extrusion profiles and do so in a material capable of withstanding the extreme temperatures and pressures required to successfully push molten materials.
Desktop Metal has announced plans to add additional base metals to its portfolio, including superalloys, carbon steels and copper.