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DMLS technology for automotive tooling

  • : Rodrigo Leal1, Fátima Barreiros2, Maria Leopoldina Alves1, Fernando Romeiro1, Joel Correia Vasco1, Carlos Marto3
  • : 1Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, 2Polytechnic Institute of Leiria/CEMUC-Coimbra University, 3BBE Engineering, Lda.
  • : PDF Download
  • : 2014


The automotive industry is challenged every day, with companies competing and developing new models and facelifts in short term, requiring new tools or tool reshaping. Concerning the current world economic scenario, decreasing time-for-tooling becomes as important as decreasing time-to-market. Such scenario opens up the horizons for new manufacturing approaches like additive manufacturing. In this case-study, additive manufacturing is applied for tooling up a stamping process for the production of body panels for the automotive industry. This approach enables the manufacturing of stamping tool inserts with similar high performance alloy steel as in conventional tooling, although, without any loss of tool properties and saving a significant part of the tool manufacturing time. The evaluation of the tool performance and tool life estimation was carried out based on three point bending fatigue tests using specimens manufactured by the same additive process and using the same powder material. From these data, it was possible to establish realistic scenarios for the use of additive tooling and to evaluate its feasibility on the automotive industry.

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