Paper Title
Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) of Thermoform Tooling

This paper presents a design, prototyping and tooling methodology for developing rapid injection molding tooling using additive manufacturing (AM) technology (3D printing). Solid modeling and additive manufacturing have reduced the time and cost to design a product and create a prototype. While these methods can fabricate prototypes, they are limited as manufacturing tools because additive manufacturing materials cannot withstand the high temperatures and pressures required for manufacturing tooling. In this research, we explore the AM technology for producing durable parts with the potential for production of low volume manufacturing tooling. A fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printer was employed to fabricate thermoform tooling in polypropylene styrofoam (PPSF). A comparative analysis was performed with respect to standard thermoform tooling using computerized numerical control (CNC) machines. Additive tooling with PPSF was faster in (1) development time, (2) comparable in quality; (3) tool yield was 50% lower and (4) total cost was 50% higher than the standard fabrication method. This research lays the foundation for employing additive manufacturing (3D Printing) technology for manufacturing low volume tooling. Keywords - Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing, Rapid Tooling, Thermoform Molding.