PROJECT PLASTIC 2018 candidate: Softtooling

SOFTTOOLING enables manufacturing companies to produce high precision polymer parts for a fraction of the price compared to current tooling methods. Even better, lead times are reduced from typically 4+ weeks down to a matter of days.

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The problem:
Danish production companies highly rely on injection molding for high precision polymer parts for example in the medico industry. However, tooling for injection molding remains costly and with very long lead times.

The solution:
SOFTTOOLING delivers custom made mold inserts for low to medium scale high precision injection moulding at a very low cost and fast lead times. The project utilizes an ultra high precision custom build DLP 3D printer to achieve unheard details (z-res. of approx. 1 μm) in any compatible photopolymer resin. Such level of detail can be useful for many applications; e.g. SOFTTOOLING is able to create directional reflectance that can enable barcodes to be replicated directly in polymer parts without additional manufacturing steps – even on challenging freeform surfaces.

The result:
Faster, cheaper and highly precise tooling for low to medium scale high precision injection molding processes.
Complete design freedom allows inserts to have complex shapes
Directional reflectance achieved on freeform surface in cheap, available resin.
Mirror-like sub-μm surface roughness achieved merely with UV-post curing: Ra approx. 50 nm

 

University and the academic level of the project:

Technical University of Denmark, DTU

MSc thesis project (30 ECTS) – however, please note that the official thesis starting date was 03/09/2018. Everything included in this application is the result of 3 weeks intensive work. For the same reason, the uploaded project should only be considered a draft since it is nowhere near being finished. We are very eager to bring this project to even better results during the next 4 months.

 

Which type(s) of plastics/production processes are used in your solution?

For Digital Light Processing (DLP): Any high resolution photopolymer with a curing reaction at approx. 405 nm wavelength. The cured photopolymer must exhibit good thermal properties. In the present case FunToDo Industrial Blend Red is used.
For subsequent injection molding (IM): Any thermoplastic with a relatively low working temperature (like PP or ABS).

 

More information

This is a laser-generated 3D image of the printed surface layer of an insert. Notice the tremendous detail and precision; the ridges are merely 8 microns tall. That same sample exhibited mirror-like surface finish along the reflective surface with an R_a value of 18 nm after UV-post curing.
This picture shows a barcode incorporated into a complicated freeform surface. Contrast is created by micro-sized ridges spaced with a chosen pitch. The ridges are designed to have an angle of 10 degrees in order to most efficiently generate contrast with a spot light source depending on its orientation. Left side: CAD-model. Right side: Printed insert.
This is an illustration of the setup with the resin basin and build plate on top. A projector below the basin cures the resin by projecting a UV image. Each projection produces a layer that adheres to the build plate. Then, the build plate raises and a 3D model is generated. The used resin in the picture is FunToDo Industrial Blend Red.

PROJECT PLASTIC is a talent competition for engineering students. The purpose is to celebrate the talented students that as part of their degree lead the way in how to use plastic materials to create innovative solutions. The competition is being administrated by The Danish Plastics Federation.

Read more about PROJECT PLASTIC

The 11 best candidates for PROJECT PLASTIC 2018

PROJECT PLASTIC 2018 WINNER! Håndtering og genanvendelse af plastaffald i Kenya Analyse og udviklingsarbejde med fokus på optimering af proces og højere plastkvalitet hos plastgenanvendelsesfabrik i Kenya.
Link to Håndtering og genanvendelse af plastaffald i Kenya
PROJECT PLASTIC 2018 second place: Project Trebo Projektet Trebo, som nu er blevet til en startup, bidrager med at gøre plastindustrien mere bæredygtig. Trebo har udviklet en ny metode og maskine der kan sortere fuldstændigt blandede plastmængder.
Link to Project Trebo
PROJECT PLASTIC 2018 third place: Feasibility study of LDS antennas for hearing aid applications With Laser Direct Structuring, it is possible to trace electrical circuits directly on the surface of plastics. This will increase robustness and design freedom when developing medical devices.
Link to Feasibility study of LDS antennas for hearing aid applications
Final candidate: DrinkSaver DrinkSaver er et plastik produkt, hvis funktion er at mindske spild, uden at mindske drikkeoplevelsen. Designet er udformet i en rem af plastlameller, som stopper eventuelle spild på en diskret måde.
Link to DrinkSaver
Final candidate: ECO Tray ECO Tray er en håndbagagebakke i genbrugsplast til security i lufthavne. ECO Tray bidrager til grøn omstilling via cirkulær økonomi. Det nye bakkedesign forbedrer både ansatte og passagerers oplevelse uden at gå på kompromis med sikkerheden.
Link to ECO Tray
Forbedring af magnetiske og mekaniske egenskaber af nylon 6 bundne neodym magneter Projektet belyser ny viden omkring overfladebehandling og indholdsoptimering af nylon 6 i sprøjtestøbte neodym magneter. Projektet kan bidrage til en grøn omstilling, ved at gøre det muligt at genanvende eksisterende magneter.
Link to Forbedring af magnetiske og mekaniske egenskaber af nylon 6 bundne neodym magneter
Softtooling SOFTTOOLING enables manufacturing companies to produce high precision polymer parts for a fraction of the price compared to current tooling methods. Even better, lead times are reduced from typically 4+ weeks down to a matter of days.
Link to Softtooling
Ellipsit: Beholdere til et cirkulært løssalgssystem Vi har designet en let og sammenfoldelig beholder ud fra designprincipper fra cirkulær økonomi, der er skabt til at blive genbrugt og medbragt som emballage til tørvarer købt i et løssalgssystem.
Link to Ellipsit: Beholdere til et cirkulært løssalgssystem
Technological signature in precision injection compression moulding of polymer Fresnel lenses The optimisation of injection-compression-moulding in Fresnel lens production enhances the replication quality of polymer optics. For the task, the use of optical metrology leads to innovative ways to manufacture plastic products.
Link to Technological signature in precision injection compression moulding of polymer Fresnel lenses
CycleBrick - simple use of recycled plastic in emerging economies This project uses low technology to transform plastic waste into low-cost construction materials. The design is made exclusively with available materials and existing technology in emerging countries.
Link to CycleBrick – simple use of recycled plastic in emerging economies
Fra ide til produktion af den interaktive lanterne GLØD Dette projekt havde til formål at afprøve et fuldt forretningskoncept med design, udvikling, prototyper, fremstilling og afsætning af en lanterne fremstillet i plastik.
Link to Fra ide til produktion af den interaktive lanterne GLØD