St. Paul, MN (March 19, 2018) — Thomas A. Houle, Director, LUMEX NA for Matsuura USA was recently selected to present at RAPID + TCT 2018, April 24, 2018 11:15 am – 11:40 am.

Houle’s presentation will focus on how the unique capabilities of Additive Manufacturing technologies such as 3-Dimensional (Conformal) Cooling Channels, implementing Variable Material Density for venting purposes, and using Thin Rib Processing to minimize (or eliminate) Electric Discharge Machining (EDM) can greatly improve injection mold performance.

His discussion will present real world case studies describing how implementing these Additive Manufacturing technologies in design and fabrication can reduce mold build lead-time, greatly improve the molding cycle time, reduce manufacturing quality defects, and reduce the overall mold build cost. He will discuss the design considerations that need to be understood when implementing these Hybrid AM technologies in injection molds.

Houle will also compare and contrast the manufacturing methods required using the AM technologies with the manufacturing methods that are necessary using conventional manufacturing. Finally, he will present analysis of the manufacturing and molding cycle to clearly highlight the advantages of Additive Manufacturing technologies in the injection mold industry. A background on the historical development of Hybrid Additive Manufacturing Technology will be included.

Learning Objectives Include:

  • Identify the benefits of Hybrid AM Technology and have real-world examples of the justification for implementing them in your next project.
  • Evaluate a mold design and determine components that would benefit from 3-D Cooling, Variable Density Areas, or Thin Rib Processing.
  • Learn to justify the use of Hybrid AM in your mold-building process to reduce cost, improve molding cycle time and reduce overall lead-time.

Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc.’s Thomas Houle is an experienced Manufacturing Professional with a demonstrated history of success in the tooling and plastics industry. He is skilled in new product development, Program Management, Sales and Business development, new Technology adoption and Manufacturing systems and experienced with in-mold sensing and monitoring to measure mold and part performance. Houle has 27 years of continuing experience in the injection mold and molding industry developing turn-key projects for customers all around the globe.

Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. recently announced the exhibition of the Matsuura LUMEX Avance Series at RAPID + TCT 2018, North America’s preeminent event for discovery, innovation and networking in 3D manufacturing.

The Matsuura LUMEX Series is a powder bed metal AM platform with machining capability.  The Matsuura LUMEX Series combines selective laser sintering (SLS) along with high speed milling (HSM) commonly called Hybrid AM.

Matsuura’s combination of additive and subtractive technologies enables the production of parts and component geometries in a method that has never been possible or imagined. Often referred to as a “one machine, one process” system, the Matsuura LUMEX series permits production of the most complex and challenging parts through total manufacturing by digital engineering using 3-D data. The process produces highly accurate parts from metal powders that are melted and sintered using a laser while surfaces are precisely milled at high speeds. These machines possess both high-speed milling and laser sintering capability.

“Matsuura’s cutting-edge technology is a transformative in today’s world of 3D Metal Additive Manufacturing.  With our combination of best-in-class CNC Milling and high speed Direct Laser Melting, Matsuura has fundamentally revolutionized the AM marketplace,” said Tom Houle, Director, LUMEX, NA, Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc.

The Matsuura LUMEX Avance-25 metal laser sintering hybrid milling machine relies on one-machine, one-process manufacturing of complex molds and parts by fusing metal laser sintering (3D SLS) technology with high speed milling technology. The machine enables production of complicated parts and molds through total manufacturing by digital engineering, using 3D data.

The Matsuura LUMEX Avance-25 is capable of processing parts and molds up to 256 mm x 256 mm x 185 mm with an option allowing processing of 256 mm × 256 mm × 300 mm. The Matsuura LUMEX Avance-25 serves predominantly the high value, high accuracy mold and die market. Dies and molds with very complex geometries can be fabricated in one piece with high accuracy, shortening lead time and reducing manufacturing costs to a half or even a third of conventional methods.

The Matsuura LUMEX Avance-25 achieves the highest accuracy in part fabrication since metal powders are melted and sintered via laser, while surfaces are precisely milled at high speeds. 3D cooling channels can be incorporated into molds in the single setup, thereby increasing cooling efficiency and enabling high-cycle injection molding with better than ever quality and precision, reducing costs and improving efficiency.

Differentiated original parts and mold production with internal structures, thus far considered impossible, are achievable on the Matsuura LUMEX Avance-25. The Matsuura LUMEX metal laser sintering hybrid milling machine is capable of quick turn production of custom parts and molds, whether prototypes or small production run parts and molds.

“Rising interest in the Matsuura LUMEX products from aerospace and automobile industries searching for a machine capable of creating larger, high value-added parts prompted Matsuura to develop the Matsuura LUMEX Avance-60,” Houle explained.

The Matsuura LUMEX Avance-60 boats the largest Powder Bed Platform available on the market and can process parts and molds up to 600 mm x 600 mm x 500 mm. The machine is also outfitted with a high power 1kW fiber laser that significantly reduces sintering time.

The Matsuura LUMEX Avance-60 provides an increased speed of powder distribution to the table top surface along with a fully integrated automatic powder supply, collection and recycle system. Metal powder materials are distributed automatically into the sintering chamber without operator contact, eliminating powder dispersion in the work area and preserving a safe environment. Unused powder is automatically collected, sieved and recycled.

“Learn more about the Matsuura LUMEX Series and engage your imagination in what you can achieve,” Houle said.

Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc., located in St. Paul, MN is the U.S. subsidiary of Matsuura Machinery Corporation in Japan. Since 1935, Matsuura has been the forerunner in designing innovative technology and manufacturing solutions to a variety of industries around the globe. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. delivers unmatched excellence in 5-axis, vertical, horizontal, linear motor, multi-tasking CNC machine tools and machines with a powder bed metal AM platform with machining capability. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. provides the service, applications and technical field support that have always been the Matsuura standard for business. For more information on Matsuura LUMEX products, contact: [email protected] or visit: