Injection molding company Techniplas LLC is to speed up product development with a new additive manufacturing center in Ventura, California. Operations at the unit will be overseen by Avi Reichental who, from 2003 to 2015, was President, CEO and Director of 3D Systems.

Speaking in a interview with Plastics News, Reichental comments that Techniplas Digital’s hybrid approach will be “the future of short-run manufacturing,” and that the center is “coming to life as we speak.”

Avi Reichental, Vice-Chairman of the Board and CEO of Techniplas Digital. Photo via Techniplas LLC

Avi Reichental, Vice-Chairman of the Board and CEO of Techniplas Digital. Photo via Techniplas LLC

The industrialization of 3D printing 

With a history dating back to the early 1930s Techniplas, previously Dickten Masch Plastics, has been providing molding solutions for tooling applications. Presently, the company is a leader in injection molding services for the automotive industry, and prides itself on integrating traditional manufacturing approaches with digital innovation.

Reichental took on the role as Vice-Chairman of the Board and CEO of Techniplas Digital in April 2017. Since leaving 3D Systems in 2015, Reichental has also become a member of the Board of Directors at 3D printed PCB company Nano Dimension. Interestingly Simon Fried, Co-Founder and CBO of Nano Dimension, commented on the industrialisation of 3D printing in his article for our guest series on the future of the technology. With Techniplas’ position in the automotive market, the company’s additive manufacturing adoption is a clear example of this trend.

High-speed polymer and metal 3D printing

Focus at the Techniplas Digital business center will be on direct metal 3D printing for tooling components. As stipulated by Reichental, the method will work in connection with the company’s existing toolmaking technology that incorporates CNC milling subtractive manufacturing techniques. By incorporating custom metal inserts into a mold, Techniplas will reduce lead times for tooling development.

Artist's interpretation of Techniplas' digital hybrid approach. Graphic via Techniplas LLC

Artist’s interpretation of Techniplas’ digital hybrid approach. Graphic via Techniplas LLC

Additionally, the company will continue to develop its range of photopolymers, improving the plastics performance and design capabilities of internal vehicle components.

Elsewhere in the automotive industry, Ford has appointed Jim Hackett as the new CEO, with a directive to lead the company’s application of advanced and additive technologies. And SLM solutions have partnered with Blade supercar maker Divergent3D to scale-up production of 3D printed vehicles.

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Featured image: The new Techniplas Digital directive starts with a specialist additive manufacturing center and appointing CEO Avi Reichental. Image via Techniplas LLC

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