AIM (ACES Injection Moulding)
Direct AIM (ACES Injection Moulding) is
a new and vitally important rapid tooling
process to quickly and inexpensively build
prototype parts using a variety of engineering
thermoplastics in a very short time (as
short as one week) without the need for
production tooling. The process involves
growing the mold on a SLA system, using
the ACES buildstyle, that is shelled out
on the bottom side. This leaves a cavity
in the mold halves that can be backfilled
with various materials. These material include
aluminum-filled epoxy, ceramics, and low-melting
metals. The backfilling process provides
a thermal conduit for the heat exchange
system, as well as integrates the cooling
system that may be put into the mold halves.
The mold halves are mated
and aligned, and the part surfaces are finished
for surface quality. Using extended cycle
times and a release agent, numerous parts
can be made by directly injecting the final
thermoplastic into the ACES mold core and
cavity halves using a standard injection-molding
- Production Time:
- A Direct AIM mold can
typically be grown and processed in 1
to 2 weeks.
- Tool Life Expectancies:
- Less than 100 parts.
Life of the tool is a function of the
thermoplastic material and part complexity.
Some molds can create as few as 10 parts,
while other can exceed 100. The molds
can have a dynamic failure, but typically
gradually degrade with each shot.
- Tolerances of between
0.005-0.015 inches can be achieved.