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Prof. Olaf Diegel - UoA Centre of Advanced Materials, Manufacturing & Design

Prof. Olaf Diegel - UoA Centre of Advanced Materials, Manufacturing & Design

Using Additive Manufacturing to add value to your business.

Conformal cooling? Why bother? This talk presents a good example of why conformal cooling is such a powerful feature that additive manufacturing brings to the world of injection molding. And to make the process more cost-effective, we present a ‘hybrid’ approach to tooling in which the usually simple bottom part of the tool is first CNC machined, then mounted into the AM system, and the complex part of the tool, with its conformal cooling channels, is grown directly on top of the machined substrate.

The tool insert, an eight-cavity tool for a bottle cap, printed for Visy PET and CAMEX, was done as a replacement for a worn out 4-cavity tool. The new tool reduced the cooling time from 4.5 seconds to 2.2 seconds. This reduced cooling time translates to more shots per minutes, which translates to cost savings. It has been running almost continuously for over 2 years and has produced well over 40 million caps, and the tool paid for itself in less than a month of operation.

About the Presenter:

Olaf is an educator and a practitioner of additive manufacturing (AM) and product development with an excellent track record of developing innovative solutions to engineering problems. As professor of additive manufacturing, at the University of Auckland, he is involved in all aspects of AM and is one of the principal authors of the annual Wohlers Report, considered by many to be the bible of AM and is considered a leading authority in design for AM. In 2023, he won both the 3D Designer of the Year award at the 3D Printing Industry Awards, and the award of excellence in additive manufacturing: education at the ASTM AM Centre of Excellence.

Over the past three decades he has developed over 120 commercialized new products and, for this work, has received numerous product development awards. In 2012, Olaf started manufacturing a range of 3D printed guitars ( that has developed into a successful little side-business and provides excellent stress-relief.