ExOne Introduces X1 Tooling Lineup For Wide Range of Additive Manufacturing Applications
Industrial 3D printing systems and service provider ExOne recently introduced its new X1 Tooling portfolio. It is capable of accommodating metals, plastics, composites, foams and more for various additive manufacturing applications. This is the company’s most extensive portfolio offering to date and is composed of industrial-grade 3D printed tooling technologies including solutions for plastic injection molding or forming, laying up composites, and casting metals.
The launch of X1 Tooling follows ExOne’s assets acquisition of digital 3D manufacturing company Freshmade 3D last April. The company also recently announced the successful testing of its latest 3D printed metal tooling offerings in collaboration with global manufacturing customers.
The X1 Tooling portfolio includes the X1 MetalTool and X1 ThermoForm for plastic production; X1 Layup and X1 Washout X1 for composite production; and SandCast and X1 DieMold for metal production.
The X1 MetalTool utilizes binder jet metal 3D printing technology and was designed to replace standard steel or aluminum tooling for plastic injection molding, blow molding, and foam molding.
According to ExOne, it is capable of trimming cycle times by 30 to 50 percent and can eliminate the high machining costs and lengthy lead times associated with traditional tooling methods. Besides plastic forming, X1 MetalTool also allows direct metal print end-of-arm tooling, tool inserts, and more.
It is currently available in 420i steel-bronze, 316L stainless steel, M2 tool steel, and H13 tool steel for optimized and lightweight applications. It’s most ideal for complex inserts and can be finish machined, acid-etched, and polished to a diamond finish.
Meanwhile, X1 ThermoForm is an on-demand tooling technology for thermoforming, vacuum forming, and other compression tooling applications. It is capable of withstanding high temperatures and multiple hits. It functions by infiltrating a 3D printed sand form with durable resin that is then coated to create small- to large-format molds. It also allows for the full vacuum to be pulled in the forming process without risk of delamination or damage.
Similar to the X1 ThermoForm, the X1 Layup infiltrates a 3D printed sand form with a durable resin which is then coated for complex composite layup applications. It can withstand high temperatures and allows for high precision tooling at fast speeds. This is ideal for both low-cost prototyping and premium production tools. The X1 Washout 3D prints a form in the sand and applies a proprietary infiltrant and coating that can be easily washed out with tap water after standard layup and autoclaving. This is ideal for ducting, mandrels, and other designs with trapped geometries.
The X1 SandCast sand 3D printer can produce complex sand casting and metal casting molds and cores. Sandcastings can come in various sand types and binders such as sustainable inorganic formulas for high-quality aluminum castings. The X1 DieMold is currently still in development in collaboration with ExOne’s global manufacturing customers.
According to the company, it will be able to binder jet 3D print rugged die molds in H13 tool steel that are similar to traditional die molds for shaping molten metal. This is expected to be fast-tracked once it successfully passes proof-of-concept tests.