Wilson Tool International Launching 3D Printing Division
A major independent tooling manufacturer, Wilson Tool International, recently added a new division. The company, which handles manufacturing of tools like a pressbrake, recently started up their own 3D printing division, which will grant them access to custom-made jigs, fixtures and other tooling.
Wilson Tool Additive will be offering 3D printing services on two new lines; BEND3D and SOLV3D. The former is for sheet metal bending, while the latter is for other support parts.
BEND3D is the company’s new 3D printing line, which can be used for producing custom pressbrake tooling, like machines heads and parts that are used to bend sheet metal and the like. Through testing, the company has already proven that these new 3D printed tools are just as strong and just as reliable as the traditional steel tools that are currently being used in the process.
According to Wilson Tool Additive’s recommendation, BEND3D tools are best used for low run jobs, for about a thousand hits, as well as in materials like 14-gauge cold rolled or less. The company says that customers can save significant amount of lead time for the process, as well on the cost of metal components that are either machined or molded.
SOLV3D, meanwhile, has a much wider mandate compared to BEND3D, with the company promoting it with the motto “If You Imagine It, We Can Make It”. This line grants customers the freedom to propose and design entirely unique parts for their needs. The process utilizes both FDM and vat polymerization in order to create these orders with the flexibility needed to accept modifications with ease.
3D printing has been making headway across the tooling industry. Within 2018, Volkswagen Autoeuropa and Ultimaker’s innovations in 3D printed tooling allowed them, in part, to save $160,000, winning them the Automotive Application of the Year Award.
Meanwhile, Xometry and BMW came together at IMTS 2018 in order to discuss and demonstrate the advantages of 3D printed tooling.
Even the US Military has embraced 3D printed tooling, with the creation of 3D printed tooling arts by the NAVSEA at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, located in Portsmouth, Virginia.