Leoni produces injection-moulded parts even more efficiently

Prototypes and small production runs with PVC using rapid tooling

Friesoythe – Leoni’s Business Unit Healthcare relies on 3D-printed parts made of acrylic resin for its manufacture of injected-moulded prototypes and small-scale production runs. This makes relatively sophisticated geometries feasible quickly, flexibly and cost-effectively. Customers can receive moulded display and functioning samples or have adjustments made in the shortest possible time. With this process, Leoni satisfies not only the demand for limited production runs of overmoulded solutions that often arises in the medical technology sector, but can also support its customers particularly in product development or when testing the suitability for mass production of certain geometries.

Its rapid tooling service enables Leoni to upgrade its portfolio as a system supplier and, while designing during the development phase, to provide more cost-effective, quicker and more flexible support with injection-moulded prototypes than with conventional methods. In this process, Leoni combines steel base frames with 3D-printed mould inserts made of acrylic resin. They are very robust and withstand both low and high-pressure injection moulding. Prototypes can be made within the shortest possible time and geometries can be optimised.

First, the design of the plug, the grommet or the y-splitter is swiftly agreed with the customer with the help of 3D models. The tool is then designed with direct gating and venting, and the mould insert pair is printed. Thanks to standardised dimensions, Leoni can easily incorporate its 3D tools in various types of equipment. The feed channel automatically sits in the right location. The efficiency boost thanks to standardised base frames with guide units is substantial and can be maximised even further through the additional use of swivel moulds.

Among all the plastics tested, Leoni has so far achieved the best results with PVC when making the prototypes and small productions runs using this process. The wall thickness of the moulded parts should meanwhile not be too great.