Optimization & Manufacturing Challenges
High-pressure die casting is a process in which molten metal is forced under pressure into a securely locked metal die cavity, where it is held until the metal solidifies. After solidification of the metal, the die is unlocked, opened, and the casting ejected.
Metal AM creates the opportunity to increase the lifetime of inserts by optimizing conformal cooling channels. By increasing cooling efficiency, engineers can extend the life of the inserts reducing lifetime costs & downtime. This approach can be applied to a wide variety of die casting applications.
However, conventional AM systems print channels at a maximum 5-6 mm ⌀ limiting design options especially for larger inserts. Larger channels typically experience higher downskin (top of channel) roughness which correlates to decreased part lifetimes through crack initiation. Typical DfAM (Design for AM) approaches, like teardrop channels, are ineffective as well because the top of the tear drop can cause cracks to form.
This “Catch-22” limits the effectiveness of conventional AM – engineers desire larger channels to increase part lifetimes but larger channels cause crack initiation which decreases part lifetimes.
With the addition of M300 Steel, Velo3D brings its advanced printing capabilities to the automotive and tooling industries. Engineers now have access to a wider design window that enables them to print channels without limitation (up to 100 mm) and achieve industry leading surface finishes.
Furthermore, this capability is now available on the largest LPBF print volume in the industry (600 mm diameter x 1000 mm z height) enabling the largest mold inserts and peripheral component designs.