ExOne launches a new 3D printed tool portfolio for plastics, composite and metal production

ExOne announced the launch of a new line of industrial grade 3D printing tool products for plastic, composite and metal manufacturing.

The X1 tooling portfolio was developed in the course of the acquisition of ExOne Freshly made 3D Earlier this year as well as successfully testing new 3D printed metal tooling options with some of its global manufacturing customers.

ExOne’s X1 tooling portfolio includes the X1 ThermoForm for plastics production; X1 layup and X1 washout for composite production; the X1 SandCast and X1 DieMold for metal production; and the X1 MetalTool, which can be used for both metal and plastic production. New products from X1 Tooling are presented at FAST + TCT expected next week, with broad commercial readiness in the first half of 2022.

The X1 tooling portfolio

X1 MetalTool is available in 420i, an extremely durable and inexpensive steel-bronze matrix, as well as in 316L stainless steel, M2 tool steel; and more. This tool can be machined, acid etched, and diamond polished, and is ideal for complex indexable inserts. It has passed pre-tests to replace standard steel or aluminum for plastic injection molding, blow molding, and other plastic and foam molding applications. The X1 MetalTool can also be used for direct 3D printing of end-of-arm tools and rugged, perishable or consumable cutting tools in a wide variety of metals, including tool steels. Celwise AB was one of the first to adopt the X1 MetalTool 316L, please see below for more details.

The X1 ThermoForm product, on the other hand, is a 3D printed sand mold that is infiltrated and coated with a durable resin to create small to large format molds for a range of thermoforming applications. X1 Layup is also a 3D printed sand mold infiltrated with a durable resin and coated with composite materials for high precision, high temperature layup applications. It offers dimensional tolerances of +/- 0.025 inches and tools can be machined to within +/- 0.005 inches if required. The X1 Washout product is a 3D printed sacrificial tooling product that is washed away with tap water after traditional laminating and autoclaving of composite materials and is suitable for ducts, mandrels and other designs with enclosed geometries. In addition to the X1 MetalTool, ExOne also offers the X1 SandCast and X1 DieMold, the latter of which is still in development.

“Today’s launch of the X1 tooling portfolio is the direct result of strong customer demand for tooling options that reduce lead times and bring tools closer to final production wherever that is for them,” commented John Hartner, CEO of ExOne. “As the COVID pandemic continues to disrupt supply chains, more and more manufacturers have asked us: ‘Can you 3D printing tools?’ Today we want the market to know the answer is yes – we can help you reduce your supply chains risk and make them more sustainable, with less shipping and other types of waste. Our new tooling portfolio is a grand slam of fast and cost-effective new tooling options for manufacturers. “

Celwise AB takes over X1 MetalTool

Celwise AB, a fiber molding technology provider, is among the first to introduce the X1 MetalTool made of 316L stainless steel for its patented process for converting wood and other cellulosic fibers into a wide range of environmentally friendly packaging and products.

Celwise’s technology is said to be able to create water-resistant molded fiber products that look and feel like a luxurious mix of wood and plastic. The common manufacture of cellulosic fiber based products (paper) slowly removes water from cellulosic fibers for molded products that need to be coated for water resistance.

However, Celwise removes water quickly in a new process that allows the cellulosic fibers to recombine quickly, creating a new type of paper product that is strong, wood-like, and water-resistant.

The company enjoys greater design freedom with ExOne’s 3D printed tools. ExOne now offers prototype and production tools to Celwise specifications, with time savings of 20% and cost savings of between 30-40%.

“Our planet needs this technology now,” says David Pierce, inventor and co-owner of Celwise. “Our patented technology provides a recyclable, renewable and biodegradable product that can be manufactured faster and more cheaply than conventional technologies. Advanced manufacturing approaches based on 3D printed tools from ExOne are an important part of our process. “

“Celwise demonstrates how new technologies like Binder-Jet 3D printing can help solve some of the world’s toughest problems,” added Hartner. “We are proud to partner with Celwise in delivering this important innovation.”

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