IMTS Insider

AM/3D Printing Challenge Demonstrates Potential to Transform U.S. Tool & Die Industry

Category: Manufacturing Technology Oct 10, 2018

At IMTS, the AMT Emerging Technology Center (ETC) is renowned around the world for showcasing disruptive technologies that will impact manufacturing in the years to come. (AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology is the owner and operator of IMTS.) This year at IMTS 2018, AMT featured two ETCs and one presented an additively manufactured challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Termed “Die-in-a-Day Scavenger Hunt,” the event generated excitement and showed the radical transformation AM can bring to the tool & die industry, which impacts every form of manufacturing.

Led by ORNL, the Die-in-a-Day Scavenger Hunt met the challenge and demonstrated how AM can speed up the design and development process to build jigs, fixtures, dies and other tools from weeks and months to hours. The shorter process leads to decreased costs and demonstrates how AM has the potential to revitalize the tool and die sector in the United States.

During IMTS 2018, the Die-in-a-Day Scavenger Hunt took visitors through the process of creating an additively manufactured die, from design and prototype production to final inspection, in one day or less than eight hours. Each of the six IMTS show days featured a different die, which included a motorcycle cover, a valve cover, a plate, a business card holder, and a bike stem.

Watch the IMTSTV video featuring Lonnie Love, who explains each step in the Die-in-a-Day Scavenger Hunt and how additive technology could transform your machine shop as well as the tool and die industry.

Follow the day's journey of one die from start to finish on IMTSTV. In this five-minute video, Aslan Moini, AMT Manager, tracks the die at each booth in sequential order to learn about each stage of the die’s production at IMTS 2018.

For manufacturers that want to add speed to their tool and die capabilities, additive manufacturing may be the key to growing their business. AM might also be their connection to revitalizing their workforce. Young people understand additive manufacturing. Pair them with the experts to develop the technology for the future.

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