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Research projects

Verified Digital Optimization Arena for Tool/Die/Mold Production by 3D Metal Printing (Digi3D)

About this project

Project information

Project status


Research subject

Tool manufacturing is an important phase in the development of new components. This phase determines both the lead time (Time-To-Production/-Market) and the size of the investments required to start the production.
The lead time for the production of tools and dies for a new car body is currently about 12 months and needs to be reduced 40% by 2020. The lead time for injection molds for small and large series production must be reduced to 10 days and 4 weeks respectively.
Lead time and cost-efficient metallic tools can be provided by Additive Manufacturing (AM)/3DPrinting (3DP). This project focuses on tools and dies for the manufacture of sheet metal & plastic components for the engineering, automotive and furniture industries. The project includes AM/3DP methods Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) & Directed Energy Deposition (DEP).
Digitalization through virtual tool design and optimization of the tools production combined with the PBF´s and DEP´s digital essence provides greater flexibility, better efficiency, tremendous speed, improved sustainability and increased global competitiveness.
​This study covers AM/3DP of new tools, repair of existing tools and re-use of older tools. The purpose of this project is to connect the digitalization with AM/3DP´s capabilities and through collaboration between representatives of all actors in the supply chain (large and small companies with different roles in product creation) in various industrial branches achieve the project targets:

  • The lead time for tool and die production will be decreased by 50%;
  • The tool/die weight will be reduced by 30%;
  • The manufacturing costs are kept at least unchanged and in many cases reduced by 20%;
  • The amount of material used in tool making will be reduced by 30%;
  • Re-use of tools will be made possible and increased by 20%.

The project was led by Nader Asnafi, no longer active at Örebro University.

Research funding bodies

  • Vinnova