A Methodical Strategy to Bring Additive into Sheet Metal Fabrication

When Wilson Tool International launched its additive manufacturing division in 2018, it had already proven 3D printing’s value through dozens of printed parts for its own line of equipment. Demonstrating that value to customers required a new, highly focused approach.


The value proposition that 3D-printed tooling presents to a typical machine shop — namely, cost savings and shortened lead times for fixturing and machine tool components — is in large part driving the adoption of additive manufacturing (AM) in job shops across the country. In this regard, it was not surprising to learn that Wilson Tool International, the world’s largest independent manufacturer of tooling systems and accessories for the tableting, stamping, bending and punching industries, began 3D printing in-house tooling back in 2010. But what sets Wilson Tool’s additive journey apart — the reason why its story is worth telling — is not revealed by asking why the company deployed 3D printing, but rather how it pushed beyond 3D printing for its own applications.

Wilson Tool International, which opened its doors in White Bear Lake, Minnesota in 1966, began experimenting with additive manufacturing (or what would come to be called by that name) in the late 1990s. 

Read the full article in Additive Manufacturing magazine. 

September 07, 2020