25-27 April 2022
Conventum Conference Center
Europe/Vienna timezone

A cost-effective hybrid approach for the manufacturing of a high-performance injection mould insert using the laser-powder-bed-fusion process

27 Apr 2022, 09:30
Room 1

Room 1

Oral Presentation Additive manufacturing Additive Manufacturing


Mr Yuk-Lun Simon Chan (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)


Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) is an advanced manufacturing process capable of additively fabricating injection mould inserts with complex internal conformal cooling channels (CCC) in various tool steels. The recent successful development of a hybrid-build hybrid-metal LPBF technique enables this metal additive manufacturing (AM) technology to be a superior and economical alternative to the mould-making industry. This article reports the results of an industrial case study in which an injection mould insert was produced using the hybrid-build hybrid-metal LPBF technique combined with conventional manufacturing methods. A broken insert from an existing high-volume injection mould, made of beryllium copper by conventional methods, was replaced by a high-performance hybrid-built hybrid-steel alternative. The new insert, designed with CCC, made of hybrid maraging 300 steel powder-wrought pre-hardened tool steel, was fabricated using the LPBF process and finished with conventional mould-making methods. Compared with standard AM-build practices, a 55% saving in time was attained with the hybrid-build concept. Results from the moulding test revealed a 62% reduction in cooling time and 27% reduction in overall cycle time, respectively. When considering the running cost of the moulding machine, the additional costs in using AM technology and the cost-saving per part moulding achieved, the cost break-even quantity was 20,000 pieces, an equivalent of 67 hours running time. The overall result from this study demonstrates how metal AM technology, with the right approach, can be adopted in the plastic injection moulding industry to increase profitability.

Speaker Country New Zealand

Primary author

Mr Yuk-Lun Simon Chan (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)


Dr Olaf Diegel (The University of Auckland, New Zealand) Dr Xun Xu (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)

Presentation Materials

There are no materials yet.