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:
- 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.
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.
- Aluminum-filled epoxy
- Low-melt temperature metals