If your company doesn’t already create hollow composite parts with 3D printing, you should consider it after the announcement of Stratasys’ new ST-130 material. Here’s how the sacrificial tooling solution from Stratasys can help.
What is sacrificial tooling?
Sacrificial tooling is used during the manufacturing of composite structures and is removed from the final part before use. Typically, trapped tooling is used for composite layup or filament winding to form and support hollow structures during layup, consolidation and curing. After the part cure is complete, the tool is typically washed or broken out.
How Does Sacrificial Composite Tooling Work with FDM?
A 3D printed tool is covered in a composite material and dissolved after curing. This allows for composite, hollow and complex parts to be printed faster more cost effectively. Applications for sacrificial tooling include hollow composite part production, processes, clamshell tooling and multi-piece cores or mandrels.
Current FDM sacrificial tooling solutions employ SR-30, SR-100 and ULTEM™ support material. While these materials have exhibited success, sacrificial tooling was not their intended use.
The new Stratasys sacrificial tooling solution is a combination of the new T20B tip and ST-130 material. The T20B tip promotes improved quality and faster build times with a permeable triangular fill pattern, giving higher crush strengths and better fluid flow. ST-130 is capable of withstanding normal cure temperatures. It has been tuned specifically for sacrificial tooling and is a greater strength than previous materials.
|T20B Tip||New Permeable Fill Pattern|
Benefits of Using ST-130
Key benefits of using ST-130 are its temperature and dimensional stability for applications with high-pressure like vacuum forming and high heat such as autoclaving. Like other Stratasys materials, ST-130 performs at the same specifications as other model materials. This improves part quality, repeatability and overall yield.
Another added benefit is improved process performance due to the permeable triangular fill pattern. The new pattern provides the best combination of speed, dissolution time and strength. The permeable tubular fill pattern is also available for higher consolidation pressures but will require a longer build time.
Lastly, the surface finish is improved over previous solutions with the new T20Btip.
Note, ST-130 is only available for the Fortus® 450mc and Fortus® 900mc 3D Printers.
To learn more about sacrificial tooling, contact our 3D printing team.