Engineering Professor Receives Patent for 3D Printing Mold Tool

The coating technology can save manufacturers time and money while reducing plastic waste.

Dr. Steve Stagon holds molds in UNF's 3D Printing Lab.
Dr. Steve Stagon holds molds in UNF's 3D Printing Lab.
University of North Florida

Jacksonville, Fla. - Dr. Steve Stagon, University of North Florida mechanical engineering associate professor, has received a U.S. patent for a tool that will revolutionize manufacturing, a 3D printing injection mold tool with improved heat transfer and mechanical strength. This coating technology can save manufacturing businesses time, money and reduce plastic waste.

Stagon invented a printing mold that includes a series of air and/or water cooling channels to limit thermal stresses to 3D printing molds as well as a series of coatings to add to the mold's surface to extend its lifetime and increase the performance. The coatings improve thermal conductivity, provide a thermal barrier between the injection material and the mold body, and improve the detachment of the final mold product from the mold body.

This invention can help solve the problem of extremely high costs and time involved with creating 3D printing molds for small run, legacy, or prototype injection molded parts. Stagon hopes to develop a startup company to help develop the technology for manufacturing companies to produce.

Stagon, a UNF Presidential Faculty Leader in Innovation, has applied for over ten patents since 2014. He holds patents on other innovative technologies like MesoGlue, the first room-temperature metal adhesive, that is almost entirely non-toxic, pollutant-free and animal cruelty-free.

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