NANOFABRICA TO DEMONSTRATE EFFECTIVENESS OF DIRECT RAPID SOFT TOOLING

Nanofabrica has devoted significant time and resource over the last few years perfecting the manufacture of DRST, and are confidently claiming that they are now securing a position for AM to be a true volume manufacturing technology.

(2nd July 2020, Tel Aviv, Israel) Today, manufacturers are invited to engage with leading micro-additive manufacturing technology innovator Nanofabrica and assess the effectiveness of direct rapid soft tooling (DRST) made on the company's Tera 250 AM machine.


Nanofabrica has devoted significant time and resource over the last few years perfecting the manufacture of DRST, and are confidently claiming that they are now securing a position for AM to be a true volume manufacturing technology.

Tovit Neizer, VP of Business Development says, "We know that there has been a lot of publicity about the advances we have made in manufacturing DRST, and now is the time to demonstrate our successes and to help move companies on to fully embrace and exploit the opportunities presented by using AM produced mould tools. And so, as of today we are inviting all companies with a product or component they have in development or production to approach us and we will manufacture it using DRST that we will make on the Tera 250. We will send you parts by return to assess the quality and repeatability of the parts produced."

Jon Donner, CEO at Nanofabrica continues, "Until now, AM produced DRST has been regarded as sub-optimal when viewed through the prism of surface finish, precision, accuracy, and repeatability and also in terms of the limited number of materials that can be processed. Nanofabrica's AM process reaches micron - level resolution which means high surface finish, and the requirements of tooling can be achieved without the time-consuming and costly need to cut steel. Today, we are well positioned to lead the market of soft molds for micro injection."

Nanofabrica has achieved ground-breaking successes shooting towards 1000 parts off a single DRST made using its technology. The company has succeeded in injecting PP, PE, and ABS into a 3D printed mould, which was manufactured with a new material that the company has developed. Moulds typically take about an hour to manufacture, costs in the order of $20, and have been used on an Arburg 35 ton injection moulding machine using pressures of 400 bar at 230oC.

The ability to now really think of volume production without the necessity to fabricate timely and expensive hard steel tools for injection molding is tantalising for many industry players. The added benefit of using Nanofabrica technology is that it can achieve high surface finish as well as tiny features and complexity which are effectively impossible using conventional machining of mould tools.

To achieve the successes that they have, the team at Nanofabrica has focussed on optimising the design of the DRST and also improving the materials that the tools are made of to make the more robust.

"Multiple tools can be made in a single build, so it is easy to see how the manufacture of DRST can suddenly be an eye opener. For the price of one $10,000 hard steel mold tool you can produce 500 AM manufactured soft tools, and if each produces 1000 parts, that is 500,000 parts produced extremely quickly compared with injection molding, with the added benefits that tool design can be adapted and evolved with ease to cater for individual customer preferences, or changes in market requirements," Donner concludes.

Through its work in this area, Nanofabrica is stimulating the business case for a process chain that includes DRST, with a dramatically shorter lead time of about 2 hours from file to injected part and at costs reduced from thousands of dollars to tens.

Companies interested in trialing the Nanofabrica produced DRST should contact Tovit Neizer at tovit@nano-fabrica.com. It is likely that there will be considerable demand, so early applications are encouraged to avoid delays in engagement.

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