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Michelin acquires sixth AddUp FormUp 350 metal 3D printer

The company (which is a co-founder of AddUp) is using them for serial production of tire molds

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Michelin Molding Solutions (MMS) in Greenville, SC purchased their second FormUp 350 Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) machine from AddUp, following the successful installation and operation of their first one in 2022. This machine is the sixth added to an expanding global fleet of FormUp’s currently in use across Europe and North America. Thanks to the productivity and serial production capabilities of AddUp’s Additive Manufacturing (AM) machines, each new FormUp 350 replaces five legacy AM machines.

Michelin acquires sixth AddUp  FormUp 350 metal 3D printer and using them for serial production of tire molds
3D Printed Tire Sipe Detail (1)

AddUp is a joint venture between Michelin and French machine tool company Fives. MMS is Michelin’s worldwide division for the production of tire-curing molds. From locations in Europe, Asia and North America, MMS supplies molds to Michelin’s tire manufacturing plants throughout the world. The complex tire geometries demanded by Michelin to deliver superior tire performance require equally complex mold geometries which can’t always be produced with traditional manufacturing processes. For almost twenty years, MMS has used metal AM to meet those demands.

Michelin acquires sixth AddUp  FormUp 350 metal 3D printer and using them for serial production of tire molds
3D Printed Tire Sipe Detail (2)

“MMS is very pleased with the productivity and quality achievable on AddUp’s FormUp 350. This level of productivity allowed us to decommission older and less productive 3D printers. We’ve seen improvements in the cleanliness and safety of our operations and our operators very much appreciate its ease of use from build plate programming to machine set up and the machine user interface.” explained Glen Nelson, Technical Development Manager at MMS.

According to MMS, one FormUp 350 can manufacture the quantity of tire mold inserts which previously required five metal 3D printers and can achieve it faster and more reliably. By industrializing metal AM, MMS has been able to produce millions of mold sipe inserts over the past two decades with increasingly sophisticated shapes to improve traction and wear over the life of the tire.

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