engineering fundamentals AIM, ACES and SLA Molding
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AIM and ACES Direct Injection into an SLA Mold
  • Tooling Cost: $1000 to $1500 for a typical consumer product part of 5"x5"x3" (12.7x12.7x7.6 mm)dimensions.
  • Production Rate: 10 parts each day per cavity.
  • Tool Life: < 100 parts.
  • Accuracy: Similar to that of an SLA: ±0.005 inches (±0.127 mm).
  • Mold Fabrication Time: 1-2 weeks.
  • Draft angles and lack of undercuts necessary for release.
In the AIM process, the mold is "grown" using the SLA process. The mold is similar to a regular part SLA, but is the negative image and cut into two halves. The cavity can be filled with a variety of materials, including:
  1. Thermoplastics
  2. Aluminum-filled epoxy
  3. Ceramics
  4. Low-melt temperature metals
The AIM mold parts can be used as inserts in a STANDARD INJECTION MOLDING MACHINE. The molding machine can then go through its process quite similarly to its normal operation. This simplifies material handling and other logistics.
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