Dissolving Molds: A New Way to Think About Injection Molding
Rather than mimic the conventional functionality of a tool, something new is in the game: dissolvable molds. The soluble tooling technology uses the same printer but different materials, allowing for a flexible workflow—from geometry to molds to parts.
The dissolving aspect provides design flexibility, Mason notes. Even for complex parts with undercuts and non-ideal parting lines, the mold design can be completed in 30 min., which eliminates the need to anticipate and address the pain points of a part before testing it. Mason says the speed of this approach is exceptional and molds are ready to use in less than an hour.
The dissolving aspect allows for experimentation and testing. Unlike traditional molds where changing the gate location can be costly, using the 3D printing process means each shot can have a different gate configuration. Mason says this is a liberating feature that enables a multitude of design iterations with minimal time and material costs.