Volume Graphics Joins With Consortium to Update Prototyping of Molds

Computed tomography data analysis software analyzes additively manufactured molds and their prototypes for deviations and defects to improve quality and speed design iteration

Computed tomography data analysis software analyzes additively manufactured molds and their prototypes for deviations and defects to improve quality and speed design iteration

Comparison of manufactured mold-insert part with nominal geometry in Volume Graphics’ software. Image courtesy of Volume Graphics.

Volume Graphics has announced its involvement with the Kunststoff-Institut in a second joint project on “Rapid Tooling” with companies from a wide range of industries. As a project partner, Volume Graphics brings expertise in quality assurance and process optimization to the team via its advanced industrial computed tomography (CT) data analysis software.

“Working on this project with Kunststoff-Institut and partners is very important to us,” explains Christof Reinhart, CEO of Volume Graphics, “because we are convinced that industrial computed tomography can advance the future of rapid tooling. We have been following the topic of additive manufacturing in general and rapid tooling in particular for some time now and are working on solutions to increase prototype volumes, speed of design and overall part-and-process quality.”

Mold inserts are a focus of the Consortium’s second project because of their critical importance in strengthening parts and/or encapsulating fabricated components.

Industrial CT has been an indispensable technology in tool and mold inspection for years, allowing non-destructive testing of manufactured components. Volume Graphics’ software provides a much deeper look into CT results, revealing flaws that may be invisible to the naked eye, comparing as-manufactured parts to their original designs and simulating the performance of part geometries to guide design and/or manufacturing corrections. Comparisons between CT and CAD datasets reduce molding-tool corrections for defects and warpage to a minimum. 

The latest versions of Volume Graphics’ CT analysis software packages VGSTUDIO MAX and VGMETROLOGY provide a Manufacturing Geometry Correction module, which has been specifically developed by Volume Graphics for tool and mold making and additive manufacturing. Part shrinkage, distortion or other dimensional deviations detected in the CT data set can be transferred to the CAD model of the tool analyze and redesign the relevant contour so that it 3D-prints correctly. 

“With our Manufacturing Geometry Correction module we have laid the foundation for many new applications in tool and mold making that can take advantage of improving speed and quality developments in additive manufacturing,” says Reinhart. “This data can be of great use to tool designers, to improve both the tool design itself and the 3D-printing strategy used to manufacture it.”

About The Kunststoff-Institut 

The Kunststoff-Institut was founded in 1988 in Germany as an institute associated with a university of applied sciences. Currently there are more than 340 member companies. Those involved in the molding project described here include DMG Digital Enterprises, ebm-papst Mulfingen GmbH & Co. KG, Faurecia Autositze GmbH, Fritz Schäfer GmbH, Günther Spelsberg, Habasit AG, Montblanc-Simplo GmbH, Parker Hannifin Technology, Quarzwerke GmbH, rpm, SimpaTec GmbH, Sonova AG, Volume Graphics GmbH, V-ZUG AG.

About Volume Graphics

Volume Graphics GmbH has been developing software for non-destructive testing based on industrial CT for over 20 years. In addition to its headquarters in Heidelberg, the company has branches in the USA, Japan, Singapore, and China. 

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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