Asnafi, N., Shams, T., Aspenberg, D. & Öberg, C. (2019). 3D Metal Printing from an Industrial Perspective—Product Design, Production, and Business Models. BHM Berg- und Hüttenmännische Monatsheft, 164(3), 91-100. DOI: 10.1007/s00501-019-0827-z
Abstract: This paper is focused on automotive stamping tools and dies as well as the impact of 3D metal printing and metals related 3D-printing on design and production of such tools and dies. The purpose has been to find out the current industrial potential of 3D-printing as far as lead time, costs, shapes, material usage, metal piece size, surface roughness, hardness, strength, and machinability are concerned. The business transformational impact of 3D-printing is also addressed in this paper. The obtained results show that the lead time can be halved, the costs are somewhat higher, and the strength, hardness, surface roughness, and machinability of the 3D-printed metallic tools and dies are as good as those of the conventionally made. The maximum size of a metal piece that can be 3D-printed today by Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) is, in the best case, 500 mm × 500 mm × 500 mm. 3D-printing can also be used for the pattern to make the mold box in iron and steel casting. It is also possible to eliminate the casting pattern, since the mold box can be 3D-printed directly. All this has started to have a large business impact, and it is therefore of great significance to outline and execute an action plan almost immediately.