What is Rapid Tooling?


In the broadest sense, rapid tooling is any method or technology that enables you to produce tooling quickly. Many business agree, however, that it means tooling driven by an additive manufacturing (AM) process is the key to making it rapid.

DirectSteel injection mold and molded parts, courtesy of EOS

Two categories of rapid tooling have developed. One is an indirect approach that uses one or more master patterns to produce a tool. An example is epoxy-based composite tooling.

The second category is a direct approach, meaning that an AM process builds the core and cavity mold inserts directly, in the case of injection mold tooling. Direct metal laser sintering from EOS has been used to produce these types of tools.

Related Posts

Wohlers Report 2022 Finds Strong Industry-Wide Growth

March 15, 2022

FORT COLLINS, Colorado, March 15, 2022 — Today, Wohlers Associates, powered by ASTM International, announced the publication of Wohlers Report 2022. This…

AM Terminology

July 29, 2020

Standard terminology for additive manufacturing and 3D printing is critical when communicating. It puts everyone on the “same page” and…

The Impact of DfAM

June 16, 2018

By Olaf Diegel Over the past three decades, the bulk of research in additive manufacturing has largely focused on AM…

Learn more about ASTM and AM CoE

ASTM unites with the Wohlers brand to build on its market influence and access to top AM industry decision-makers worldwide.

  • Establish standards, certification, and qualification for repeatable, consistent parts and processes
  • Prevent gaps and duplication of work in a dynamic, fast-paced technology space
  • Identify challenges that can be solved with technological improvement

Research and Development

Under the leadership of the R&D team, the AM CoE partners plan and conduct coordinated R&D projects, prioritized annually and targeted to expedite...

Learn More

Education and Workforce Development

Provide a comprehensive program that educates and trains the additive manufacturing workforce at all levels, while continually incorporating new advances...

Learn More