MMT Blog

MoldMaking Technology’s online database offers more than 1,000 manufacturers, distributors and suppliers for more than 200 product and service categories that you employ daily. To keep this information current, MoldMaking Technology surveys and updates its supplier database every spring with the latest company contact information and product/service offerings.

This month’s Technology Review and Sourcing Guide includes a portion of that database listed in sourcing grids tailored to match suppliers with their respective product/service offerings along with a sample of product releases that the magazine featured throughout the year. These are the 40 companies from the July 2018 machining section:

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Registration is open for the 2018 Modern Machine Shop Top Shops Workshop at IMTS. The technical program and peer-to-peer discussion deliver practical solutions and business strategies that complement the variety of cutting-edge technologies on-display at IMTS 2018. 

Steve Kline Jr., Director of Market Intelligence, Gardner Intelligence

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Welding technology has come a long way. Not only have setup times and sheer welding power evolved, but now laser welding equipment is going mobile. New laser models from Alpha Laser, the ALM and ALFlak, enable welders to repair large molds anywhere with ease.

First advantage is the footprint; these models can easily move in and around even the most complex molds. Second, and most important, is the flexibility; the lasers can reach even more features of a mold from a single position with an extended arm length of over 9 ft. long in the largest model.

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What factors drive machinists to choose between solid carbide and indexable cutting tools?

Machine Tool. Most milling machine tools purchased in the United States today are lighter-duty machines with CAT40 or HSK 63 spindles, which generate low horsepower and torque when they are operated at slow spindle speeds. Price is one of the main purchasing criteria for buying machines with these light-duty spindles. However, in moldmaking the trend toward finishing cores and cavities in a hardened state over producing electrodes and using EDM to complete a workpiece has driven mold shops to invest in light-duty machining centers with high-speed spindles.

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Bob Zollo is a founder and CEO of Avante Technology, which focuses on educating and assisting companies seeking to incorporate desktop fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printing as part of their work process. Zollo has developed 3D printing materials, technology and design guidelines specifically for 3D-printed injection molds. His experiences led him to developments and insights on 3D-printed moldmaking:

Design. Zollo believes that the next major obstacle to broader adoption of 3D-printed molds is overcoming the lack of know-how in designing these molds. He says that printed plastic molds differ from metal molds in their surface energy, mechanical strength and heat conductance. He says, for example, “Increase the draft of internal pins and structures to ensure smooth movement between mold halves. If 3 percent draft was specified in the CAD drawing for metal molds, revise this to 4 to 5 percent for printed plastic molds.” Holes should be printed slightly smaller in diameter, so they can be post­processed to smooth the interior. Other examples of principles that need to be learned and applied include how to adapt the infill and outer layer print strategy to optimize mechanical strength.

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