Mantle releases new 420 Stainless Steel AM material

Targeting new tooling applications with its unique 3D printing systems

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Mantle, a specialist in metal 3D printing technology for toolmaking, released its new 420 Stainless Steel material. This material addition improves toolmaking processes, enhancing speed and efficiency while reducing labor requirements, which is especially beneficial in industries such as medical that require corrosion- resistant tooling.

“We are excited to launch this material and make it available for all of our customers,” said Ted Sorom, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Mantle. “By combining the speed and cost reductions enabled by Mantle’s tooling-focused printing system with 420 stainless steel, we help our customers set a new standard for the speed of their product development.”

The new 420 Stainless Steel from Mantle is chemically equivalent to traditional 420 stainless steel, which is renowned for its high strength, hardness, corrosion resistance, and polish ability. It is a preferred mold material for a wide range of tooling applications, including components with conformal cooling and medical device tooling. The new steel material allows manufacturers to rapidly produce production-grade tooling during prototyping and product development, thereby shortening the time to produce steel tooling for validation part molding by as much as 80 percent.

Mantle releases new 420 Stainless Steel AM material targeting new tooling applications with its unique 3D printing systems

“We are incredibly pleased with Mantle’s introduction of their 420 Stainless Steel, a mold material critical in the medical device industry. This announcement emphasizes Mantle’s commitment to the continuous improvement of their precision tooling technology,” Melanie Sprague, SVP, Healthcare PMO and Applications at Spectrum Plastics Group, a DuPont Business. “We look forward to leveraging this material and the Mantle platform to continue providing our customers with the highest-quality medical devices.”

Mantle’s 420 Stainless Steel is especially beneficial for tooling applications that employ conformal cooling channels. These channels, only achievable through additive manufacturing, enable more efficient cooling than traditional cooling methods, improving molding performance and reducing cycle times. The materials shows excellent corrosion resistance and eliminates the concern of conformal cooling channels clogging due to rust.

Mantle releases new 420 Stainless Steel AM material targeting new tooling applications with its unique 3D printing systems

Mantle presented a deep-ribbed medical device component mold insert (seen in the image at the top of this article) printed with the new 420 Stainless Steel, as an example of a key application. This tool is ideal to fabricate with Mantle’s technology as the deep ribs would otherwise have required extensive sinker-EDM work, adding substantial cost and time. With Mantle, the insert can be printed in just 2.5 days. Another example is a medical luer fitting mold insert. Twelve tool variations can be printed, fully unattended, in just 3.5 days.

Mantle’s precision metal 3D printing technology has been recognized as the premier solution for printing precision tooling, meeting the industry’s stringent requirements for accuracy, surface finish, and tool steel properties that professional toolmakers demand. Mantle’s 420 Stainless Steel is the next material in its family of Flowable Metal Pastes, which are precisely tuned to produce best-in-class accuracy and surface finish. Like all other Mantle steels, Mantle’s 420 Stainless Steel requires no modifications to toolmaking workflows for secondary operations such as texturing, polishing, welding, and machining.

Mantle’s 420 Stainless Steel will be released to customers in the second half of 2024. Customers will deploy the new material without any modifications to hardware; only an over-the-air software update is required. Attendees of NPE2024, the largest plastics trade show in the Americas, held in Orlando May 6- 10, will have the opportunity to witness firsthand the transformative potential of Mantle’s technology. The company will showcase examples of printed steel tooling applications.

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