This paper details the development of a rapid tooling manufacturing route for the gravity and high‐pressure die‐casting industries, resulting from an EPSRC funded collaborative research project between the Universities of Warwick, Loughborough and DeMontfort, with industrial support from, amongst others, MG Rover, TRW Automotive, Sulzer Metco UK Ltd and Kemlows Diecasting Products Ltd. The developed process offers the rapid generation of mould tools from laser‐cut laminated sheets of H13 steel, bolted or brazed together and finish machined. The paper discusses the down‐selection of materials, bonding methods and machining methods, the effect of conformal cooling channels on process efficiency, and the evaluation of a number of test tools developed for the industrial partners. The paper also demonstrates the cost and time advantages (up to 50 and 54 per cent, respectively) of the tooling route compared to traditional fabrication methods.
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