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First Mantle production system delivered to Westec Plastics

Beta customer Westminster Tool eliminates 180 hours of EDM when building a complex tooling insert

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After completing multiple successful beta deployments, Mantle is shipping production versions of its P-200 printer and F-200 furnace incorporating additional hardware and process refinements. Westec Plastics, a custom plastic injection molder and tool builder based in Livermore, California, received the first Mantle production system.

“Having the Mantle equipment in-house enables Westec to complete prototype and production steel tooling inserts with a much shorter lead time than standard mold builds,” said Tammy Barras, President of Westec Plastics. “This will benefit our customers by providing production-quality steel tooling with aluminum tooling lead times.”

First Mantle production system delivered to Westec Plastics while Westminster Tool eliminates 180 hours of EDM on a tooling insert
Westec Plastic installing their Mantle metal 3D printer.

Another Mantle customer, Westminster Tool, has successfully utilized its Mantle beta system for over one year. This manufacturer of precision molds located in Plainfield, Connecticut, has produced components for prototype and production tools, including today’s announcement of a complex mold insert for an industrial customer that was ordered by Xpress7, a Minnesota-based mold builder. Westminster Tool utilized Mantle’s High-Precision Shaping capabilities to print the insert, significantly reducing the cost and lead time by eliminating over 180 hours of EDM work and all CAM programming.

“The advantages of Mantle’s technology are multiplied when it replaces traditional EDM operations. Running almost entirely unattended, it allows us to accomplish similar geometries with a fraction of the personnel and skill level.” commented Hillary Thomas, Westminster Tool vice president.

First Mantle production system delivered to Westec Plastics while Westminster Tool eliminates 180 hours of EDM on a tooling insert
The insert featured deep thin ribs that would have required extensive sinker EDM work to produce traditionally

Mantle will be featured in a joint presentation at the Molding and Moldmaking Conferences on August 29-30 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The panel presentation entitled “Metal 3D Printing that Makes Dollars and Sense” will feature Mantle, Westminster Tool, and Nicolet Plastics, another company that will soon be deploying a Mantle metal 3D printing system.

Mantle provides precision metal 3D printers specifically for toolmaking. Mantle’s TrueShape technology, a type of bound metal paste material extrusion, combined with milling, produces tools that have the accuracy, surface finish, and tool steel properties required for demanding tooling applications. Tools made with Mantle’s technology have already produced millions of parts while reducing lead times by 75% and costs by 50%.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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