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METHOD FOR REINFORCING 3D PRINTED TOOLS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000249782D
Publication Date: 2017-Apr-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 24K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The robustness and the sustainability of assembly tools are an everyday issue in assembly lines. When a tool needs to be changed every single day after a breakage the assembly line is slowed down and the replacement cost of the tools is increasing. to overcome this issue, one solution consists of manufacturing tools in metal, such as steel, to reinforce the tool. However such tools are costly and long to manufacture. The proposed solution is to manufacture the needed tool in a thermoplastic material using an additive layer manufacturing process and inject a strengthening material inside the printed tool

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METHOD FOR REINFORCING 3D PRINTED TOOLS Abstract: The robustness and the sustainability of assembly tools are an everyday issue in assembly lines. When a tool needs to be changed every single day after a breakage the assembly line is slowed down and the replacement cost of the tools is increasing. to overcome this issue, one solution consists of manufacturing tools in metal, such as steel, to reinforce the tool. However such tools are costly and long to manufacture. The proposed solution is to manufacture the needed tool in a thermoplastic material using an additive layer manufacturing process and inject a strengthening material inside the printed tool. Context and technical problem: On an assembly line, numerous tools are used several times a day, and a mechanical constraint is regularly applied on them. This occurs for example with drilling or clipping tools. Despite those tools are made with metal, they show premature wear marks and broke easily. The replacement of such a tool can be long if the tool isn’t available anymore and needs to be manufactured. In order to keep the assembly line working, a method consists in manufacturing the broken tool by a 3D printer. A 3D printed tool is made with thermoplastic material, such as high impact polystyrene. The envelope of the tool is printed and filed with a honeycomb structure to insure some robustness of the tool. To gain in weight and material consumption, the envelope is generally filled between 25 and 50%. A 100% filling of the envelope by the thermoplastic material isn’t effective because the material isn’t enough viscous to correctly fill all the volume. Thus a thermoplastic material is costly, increasing the final manufacturing costs of the 3D printed tool.

Figure 1: structure in honeycomb

To increase the robustness of such a 3D printed tool, a method consists in applying a reinforcement solution, like an epoxy resin, on the surface of the printed tool. Such a solution is a mixing between a reinforcement solution and a hardener solution. The mixing is exothermic and can be dangerous for the user. To acquire it’s reinforcement properties the applied solution needs to be cooked at low temperature between 8 and 16 hours i...