New Innovation in Metal Hydroforming Enables Rapid Prototyping
HARTSVILLE, TN — FluidForming embodies the first major advancement in metal forming in more than 60 years. Using highly pressurized and recycled tap water as the force to form, coupled with the seamless integration of 3D printed tooling and onsite FEA analysis, FluidForming Americas offers its clients a new way to think about manufacturing.
The company’s 4-in-1 hydroforming machine, the FormBalancer, works flawlessly with 3D printed tooling; saving the company’s clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in tooling costs per part and dramatically reducing a product’s time-to-market.
With forming pressures of up to 60,000 psi, FluidForming offers unparalleled manufacturing flexibility, accuracy, and repeatability. Not only does the FluidForming technology marry additive manufacturing with metal forming, but FluidForming is also the only company to offer an unprecedented combination of technologies incorporated into a single machine. The company’s family of hydroforming machines, known as FormBalancers, have the following metal forming capabilities and can be integrated with 3D printed tooling:
- Sheet metal forming
- Tube forming
- Bladder-based hydroforming
- Hydraulic hydroforming
“Complexity is free with 3D printing. Not so with injection molding, machining, casting, and other traditional manufacturing processes, where complex part designs make production costs skyrocket,” said President and CEO of FluidForming Americas, Paul Benny. “FluidForming is poised to become the go-to solution for metal forming in the coming years. As the only Six Sigma metal forming process available, the implications of FluidForming on the future of the manufacturing industry are wide-ranging and profound. Ideas that were once deemed too costly, or impossible, to be formed from metal can be produced and perfected in a matter of days.”
As the first hydroforming company to fully embrace additive manufacturing and 3D printing, FluidForming Americas is well-positioned for the future. The groundbreaking 4-in-1 machine technology is ideal for rapid prototyping and low- to medium volume production with the ability to mass produce.
The machine’s compact design requires a minimal factory footprint and does not necessitate any special structural. Operators are able to transition between functions within minutes. With a 99.996% first pass yield success rate, FluidForming offers quality, accuracy, and repeatability that was previously unheard of. Post-production costs are also minimized or eliminated altogether.
FluidForming enables companies to enjoy shorter time-to-market and lower overall cost-to-market ratios. Because the system enables the transition from CAD to 3D-printed tooling (all FormBalancer machines are compatible with 3D printed, metal sintered, steel, aluminum, and composite tools) it’s possible to move from design to production in days rather than weeks or even months.
With the ability to take a ‘Printed Tool” and use it in conjunction with the FF technology you can go from idea to prototype to metal parts to production. No one can do this! Because of unique “Nested Tooling “ employed by FFA Five (5) sides of the tooling is supported and thus only the compressive forces act upon the tool. From Plastic tool to metal parts in short order. 3-D printing even if metal is used takes a long time to create a single part and is not viable for quantity production BUT when coupled with FFA metal parts are “in your hand” in days and volume production is immediately available.
About FluidForming Americas
Founded in Germany in 2000 and established in the United States 2014, FluidForming Americas services clients including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Miele, Sub-Zero, and other industry-leading manufacturers. FFA has a well-deserved reputation for innovation and a clear vision for the future. The company’s unique approach to sheet metal forming, tube forming, and rapid prototyping represents the first major advancement in metal forming in 60 years. The FluidForming process and technology has profound implications for manufacturing, manufacturing technologies, product design, and profitability. FluidForming Americas is headquartered 50 miles northeast of Nashville, in Hartsville, Tennessee.