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.

Wohlers Report 2024

Wohlers Report 2024

Technical, market, and strategic advice on Additive Manufacturing 3D Printing Rapid Product Development

Related Press & News

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