Rapid Tooling's Strategic Benefits & Risks

A Special EuroMold '99 Conference
13:00 to 18:00 Friday, 3 December 1999

For manufacturing companies worldwide, EuroMold has become the event to attend. It's depth and breadth in moldmaking technologies and applications offer a showcase like no other. An estimated 50,000 individuals from around the world are expected to attend the EuroMold '99 trade fair, scheduled for December 1-4 in Frankfurt, Germany. More than 1,500 exhibitors from 38 countries will display their products and services.

For the first time, a conference on rapid tooling (RT) is being positioned to compliment and enhance the EuroMold experience. This high profile event will uncover the hottest methods and applications of RT. It is being targeted at top managers and executives from manufacturers of consumer electronics, sporting goods, toys, medical supplies and instruments, industrial machinery, business machines, aircraft, and automobiles. Attendees will learn what RT options are available; why some methods are being used and others are not; when it makes sense to apply one RT method over another; and when conventional approaches offer an advantage over RT. 

The conference will discuss and compare indirect, pattern-based methods of rapid tooling such as aluminum-filled epoxy, spray metal tooling, Ford's Sprayform, cast kirksite, 3D Keltool, PolySteel, ECOTOOL, ExpressTool, RSP tooling, CEMCOM, PHAST, and Swiftool. Direct methods of RT fabrication include Direct AIM from 3D Systems, SLS RapidTool from DTM, DMLS from EOS, ProMetal from ExtrudeHone, and LENS from Optomec.

World-class speakers and panelists will provide candid and up-to-date information on the benefits and risks associated with RT. These carefully selected individuals will share their personal experiences and advice based on years of experience and know-how. Never before has such an impressive group of speakers gathered to address RT in a way that will help managers understand and sort through the myriad of options. This conference will help managers decide whether to use rapid tooling as a strategic weapon to design, prototype, and manufacture world-class products.


Conference Program

13:00 Keynote
Advances in Rapid Technologies Worldwide
Terry Wohlers, Wohlers Associates, Inc. 

Abstract.  Technologies for rapid product development continue to evolve and improve. Applications of rapid prototyping (RP) and freeform fabrication in organizations now span from early concept development to the manufacture of final production parts. The many ways in which the technology is being applied throughout product development, tooling, and manufacturing has fascinated observers worldwide.

The interest in rapid tooling (RT) is fostered by the potential to slash both cost and time in the development of tooling and the production of parts. Companies are recognizing opportunities to apply methods of RT to prototype, bridge, short-run, and production tooling. Under the right circumstances, some methods of RT work well for some parts. Meanwhile, developers are faced with a number of problems associated with dimensional accuracy, flatness, surface finish, mold life, size, and even build speed. Unless they can sufficiently address these problems, RT will encounter difficulty in becoming a mainstream alternative to conventional methods of tooling. 

Biography.  Industry consultant Terry Wohlers is president of Wohlers Associates, Inc., a firm he founded in 1986. The company provides technical, marketing, and strategic consulting on new developments and trends in product development, prototyping, and tooling. Wohlers' highly sought after views and opinions come from years of collecting and analyzing market data, coupled with his work as an advisor to major organizations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and South America. He has authored more than 230 books, articles, reports, and technical papers on engineering and manufacturing automation. In 1992, Wohlers led a group of 14 individuals from industry and academia to form the first association dedicated to rapid prototyping. Last year, he co-founded the Global Alliance of RP Associations (GARPA) involving 14 member nations around the world. Wohlers is serving as the chairman of this conference.

Rapid Tooling Applications and Case Studies
Joel Segal, Formerly of Rover/BMW

Abstract.  The two broad classifications of rapid tooling techniques are direct and indirect. Direct approaches use a rapid prototyping based process to make tooling inserts directly, whereas indirect methods use the RP process to generate a pattern from which the tooling inserts are made. This presentation will describe several direct and indirect RT methods for injection molding and blow molding. Example methods include spray metal tooling, cast tooling, 3D Keltool from 3D Systems, SLS RapidTool from DTM, and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) from EOS.

Biography.  Joel Segal received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a master's degree in advanced manufacturing technology from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. He then worked for two years as a research assistant in the Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing at the University of Nottingham developing sprayed metal tooling for injection molding. After a brief spell at PERA, he moved to the Rapid Prototyping & Tooling team at Rover as a project engineer in the research team with responsibility for sprayed metal tooling development and implementation. After nearly three years with Rover, he is now working on a PhD at the University of Nottingham looking at the effects of RT technologies on the properties of the prototype parts for injection molding.

Rapid Tooling Today and in the Future
David Tait, ARRK Product Development Group

Abstract.  Over the past 10 years, rapid tooling has been an emerging technology spawned from the introduction of RP. In this presentation, Tait will explore five RT technologies that are available commercially. NC machining processes have improved dramatically with better controller software and smart NC programming tools. While this is true, many companies have elected to pursue a parallel path in an effort to fully investigate the potential of RT. Tait will review both indirect, pattern-based methods and direct metal-based technologies.

Rapid tooling can be a prototype tool or a verification tool that allows for low volume early production parts. Tooling type, tool construction method, end-use material, tool life, cost, and timing are criteria that one must consider after determining the project objectives. This presentation will explore the benefits, limitations, and example applications of RSP spray metal tooling, ProMetal tooling from ExtrudeHone, epoxy composite tooling, cast kirksite tooling, and Lenox Himcom Metal Matrix Tooling.

Biography.  Dave Tait is regional manager for ARRK Product Development, based in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Prior to joining ARRK in early 1999, Tait was executive vice president at Plynetics Express, a California based rapid prototyping company with sales of $30 million worldwide. Tait entered the RP field in 1989 as co-founder of Laserform, a highly respected service bureau in Auburn Hills, Michigan, serving primarily the automotive industry. Under Tait's presidency, Laserform grew rapidly to become one of the most successful RP companies in the country. Prior to this, he was manager of Advanced Vehicle Engineering at General Motors, and worked to negotiate a beta agreement for one of the first stereolithography systems in the world.

15:15 Break

Rapid Tooling Methods and Techniques
Philip Dickens, De Montfort University

Abstract.  A wide variety of techniques are available for making tools using rapid prototyping and related processes. This presentation will cover several techniques including Direct AIM to manufacture core and cavity inserts; sprayed metal tools; laminated tools built by clamping laser cut profiles; sintered metal powder tools; and EDM electrodes produced by copper plating stereolithography models. Dickens will describe the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques.

Biography.  Professor Philip Dickens has been involved in rapid prototyping and manufacturing since 1990. He has led UK sponsored missions on rapid prototyping to Japan and has been a member of a similar mission to the USA. He is a past member of the RPA/SME board of advisors. He has also been involved in organizing several conferences and seminars on rapid prototyping and manufacturing. Dickens recently moved from the University of Nottingham to De Montfort University to take the position of professor of manufacturing technology. In his short time at De Montfort, he has established a major consortium of European companies to undertake research, training, and technology transfer in rapid product development. As he continues his work in rapid tooling, Dickens has begun work on the next generation of machines for rapid manufacturing.


Rapid Technologies for Tooling Applications
Glenn Starkey, Progressive Components

Abstract.  With today's production mold delivery demands resembling time frames formerly encountered in prototype applications, mold builders are being driven to harness emerging rapid technologies. This presentation will describe the conditions that are driving this trend. Starkey will present several cases describing industry leaders who are successfully using RT technologies in their particular market segment. These case studies will span technologies and geographical borders to give the listener a better perspective on how to apply these processes to their companies and organizations.

Biography.  Glenn Starkey began in the plastics industry by completing a mold making apprenticeship program through the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA). He then completed training through the Tooling and Manufacturing Association's (TMA) curriculum for Mold Design. Starkey was involved in CNC programming and CAD/CAM mold design, and later wrote a software program to assist in injection mold design, CK/Mold Design, and independently marketed and supported the program. Starkey began with Progressive Components in 1990 and is now president and co-owner, where he oversees new product development and marketing. He has been granted several patents and trademarks domestically and internationally. Starkey has served as the chairman for the Society of Plastics Engineers Mold Making and Mold Design Division, and currently serves on the Society of the Plastics Industry Mold Making Division and their International Trade Advisory Board.

Open Panel Discussion (Q&A)
This important session will give the audience an opportunity to obtain answers to their difficult questions.

GARPA Reception
Members of the Global Alliance of Rapid Prototyping Associations (GARPA) are serving as the technical advisory committee for this conference. GARPA members include groups and associations from Australia, Canada, mainland China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. A reception in appreciation for their contribution will follow the conference.

For More Information
DEMAT Exhibition Management, located in Frankfurt, Germany, is the organizer of EuroMold '99 and Rapid Tooling's Strategic Benefits & Risks. For more information on the trade fair and conference, phone 49 69 23 43 31, fax 49 69 25 30 71, or visit www.euromold.com.