The Ohio State University Corporate Engagement Office

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Agile Die and Mold Making Technology

Engineering & Physical Sciences
Industrial & Manufacturing
College of Engineering (COE)
Ames, Nate
Licensing Manager
Zinn, Ryan

T2017-078 A technology to reduce the lead time of die and mold manufacturing.

The Need

Dies and molds are used in the manufacturing industry for producing high quantity pats from metals, plastics, and composites. These dies and molds are expensive to manufacture and have long lead times. In the automotive industry, a die set for something like a front fender can cost several million dollars and take approximately 6 months to manufacture. Thus, a technology is needed that will reduce the lead time and cost of molds and dies by printing the die geometry directly.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Nathan Ames, have developed a modular substructure with a thin AM cover in place of a monolithic die or mold. AM printing times and cost are heavily measued on additive material volume. By creating a substructure out of a material that is low in cost, easy to assemble, and strong, the AM prin volume is substantially reduced. Additionally, this substructure can be designed such that integral heating and cooling can be applied at the time of the build and/or it can be varied after the build is complete in the event that the cooling/heating rates for the finished part need adjusted.

Commercial Applications

  • Die and Mold Manufacturing
  • Automotive Manufacturing
  • Additive Manufacturing


  • Reduced manufacturing lead times
  • Lower cost, easy to assemble, strong