Developments for Rapid Tooling Application in Sheet Metal Forming
The market is changing very quickly, demanding the companies the capability of producing better and/or more performing products. This changing market leads the companies to be more flexible and agile. In particular, for the tool makers and the stamping companies, they are requested to participate in the design phase of the product and process, as well as to produce prototypes and small series in very short time and with low costs. To answer to these demands in the stamping steps design and consequently in the tool design, several finite elements packages are widely used, allowing the tool designers to foresee the results of their options/decisions without the need to manufacture and test tools, with the inherent excessive cost of money and time. Following this methodology, CAE analysis, the final phase of tool try out, always necessary, will be certainly shorter and less expensive, once they start with a solution quite more worked and, for sure, closer to the final solution. In this industrial context, appeared the great motivation for the development of competences on the rapid manufacturing of stamping tools (active elements: punch, die and blankholder), on the numerical simulation of the process and, on the development of the modular tool concept. In this paper the main results of the development of these areas of research, are presented. In particular, the use of the numerical simulation, using PAM-STAMP 2G software, for the validation of the stamping phases, the realisation of laboratorial stamping tests using tools produced by the several techniques available on Portugal for rapid prototyping. At the same time, it was developed the modular tool concept, i.e., a tool in which by fast and easy change of the active elements, different parts can be formed. The active elements of the tool have been manufactured by several rapid tooling techniques, like DMLS - Direct Metal Laser Sintering, LOM - Laminate Object Manufacturing, HSM – High Speed Milling and also the machining of non-traditional materials such as nylon, ureol and aluminium. Some inserts have been produced by indirect techniques such as reinforced resins (polyurethane, epoxy and urethane) using shells produced by SLstereolithography. Finally some conclusions are drawn.
Paula Maria Vilarinho
R. Baptista et al., "Developments for Rapid Tooling Application in Sheet Metal Forming", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 514-516, pp. 1516-1520, 2006