Re: machining of STL files

From: William Morgan (
Date: Thu Apr 10 2003 - 07:00:23 EEST


During the last 4 years we have been using the STL file format and
Magics Tooling software for everything, from Quoting, to Mold Design, to
Machining set-up (the actual machining is done with MecSoft's
VisualMill), to final Quality Inspections. This allows us to readily
quote tooling the same day or the next, and build tools in a 3 to 5 week
time frame. The mold materials were Fortal, QC-7, P-20, A-2, S-7, H-13
and 420 SS. The molds have been either prototype tools, bridge tools, or
production tools. We also have the capability to run those tools in our
14 injection molding machines ranging from 30 tons to 500 tons.

The parts have ranged in size from small pins, to hearing aids, to parts
the size of a monitor.

The surface finish of the mold have ranged from an EDM finish, to a
machined finish, to a highly polished finish that produced a magnifying

The materials have ranged from PP, to Delrin, to ABS, to Nylon, to LCP,
to Grivery, to various custom materials with fillers.

The tool complexity have ranged from a simple core and cavity, to a
complex core/cavity with 4 slides.

The accuracy of the final part dimensions at times have been held to
0.001", but normally we hold part dimensions between 0.005" to 0.020" -
which come from the customer's control drawing.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call.


Bill Morgan
Director, Design & Engineering

Vintage Industries, division of Mobile Area Networks, INC. (OTCBB: MANW)
2772 Depot Ave.
Sanford, FL 32773

Jeff Katz wrote:

>I think Materialise was working on some sort of STL-only tool software. I
>seem to remember a shop in North Florida who was using the package--Vintage
>Jeff Katz
>-----Original Message-----
>From: []On
>Behalf Of Rohit Kumar
>Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 2:31 PM
>Subject: machining of STL files
>I had a question on machining of STL files.
>Since STL files are faceted, if mold is machined, what's the
>guarantee that the core and cavity would seal properly
>(assuming the parting line is not perfectly straight and has
>sort of a contour to it)?
>My understanding is that if the resolution of the triangles
>is within that of the milling process, then there is no
>problem. However, if it's not, what happens then? For molds
>made via SLA, the mold material is soft. So applying
>pressure, would sort of deform the material such that at the
>parting plane, the core and cavity make a seal. But say if
>the mold is made out of tool steel, what happens then? BTW,
>is mold ever made out of tool steel via STL files?
>Any inputs will be appreciated.
>Best regards,

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