Although based on very simple incremental forming principles, Amino's Dieless NC forming represents a great step forward in the areas of prototype production and low volume production. With this technology it is possible to go straight from data to finished metal parts with only minimal soft tooling, reducing costs and making engineering changes simple.
Unlike other fast prototyping technologies which are suited to producing dimensionally accurate but non-functional replicas of parts, Dieless NC forming can be used to produce functional metal parts suitable for use as prototypes, or even regular production and service parts. A wide variety of materials can be formed, including mild steels, aluminum, titanium and even perforated steel mesh, with thickness ranging from 0.1mm to 4.0mm.
In terms of operation, dieless NC forming is very similar to NC mills and machining centers. Simple to use software translates data directly into G-code tool paths. After having the G-code downloaded and being zeroed, the dieless NC machine then operates fully hands-free. As the spindle completes its path, the blank is lowered further over the fixture ready for the spindle to make another pass, continuing until the final shape is achieved.
Although dieless NC forming is ideal for rapid prototyping, it is also well suited as for the production of service parts. With one machine, countless numbers of mothballed dies can be eliminated. Furthermore, by stepping up to a soft iron fixture, it is possible to do low volume production up to 500 pieces per month. The dieless NC machine can even finish off and assemble the part, performing such actions as trimming, bending and hemming.