Wilson Tool International, a tooling systems manufacturer that primarily serves the stamping and tableting industries, has made its first major foray into the world of additive manufacturing with the launch of a new AM-centered division: Wilson Tool Additive.
The new division will be dedicated to producing made-to-order bending tools and other fabrication support parts for Wilson Tool’s clients. The company will leverage the benefits and manufacturing flexibility afforded by 3D printing to speed up turnaround times for these parts from days or weeks to just hours.
Notably, the bending tools produced using additive manufacturing—from the company’s Bend3D line of products—boast the same quality and comparable properties to traditionally manufactured steel press brake tools. In other words, the 3D printed bending tools are just as effective at bending sheet metal than their conventional counterparts. The 3D printed tools offered by Wilson Tool can also be used as forming tools, air-bending tools and for mark-free bending applications.
The second set of products offered through the new Wilson Tool Additive division is its Solv3D line of 3D printed support parts. These, the company explains, are suitable to replace end-use parts that are traditionally produced using steel or plastic and can replace shop tools that would normally require expensive molds to be manufactured. The Solv3D products can even replace jigs or fixtures on the production floor or can be used as prototypes.
To ensure the success of its new additive manufacturing division, Wilson Tool has brought together a dedicated team of sales engineers and customer support agents who will work with clients to discuss the benefits and potential applications of its new 3D printed products. The company has also trained tooling technicians and design engineers.
At this stage, the company is utilizing two additive processes in its new division: fused deposition modeling (FDM) and resin-based 3D printing. Though it has not specified which FDM or resin-based platforms it is using, the company assures that its polymer 3D printed products are up to the standard of metal counterparts.
“At Wilson Tool International, we have always placed a premium on innovation. For us, the status quo holds no status. The addition of our newest division, Wilson Tool Additive, is a prime example,” commented Brian Robinson, CEO of Wilson Tool Enterprises. “We see this division as an investment in your future success, as it’s poised to increase your productivity in a way you’ve never imagined—through the Power of 3D.”