Sean Derrick

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Industrial and Entrepreneurial Engineering and Engineering Management

First Advisor

Dr. Jorge Rodriguez

Second Advisor

Dr. Mitchel Keil

Third Advisor

Dr. Pavel Ikonomov

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Conventional tool making for injection molded plastics is expensive, time consuming, and generates a great deal of waste. Presently, industry is waiting for what is commonly referred to as Rapid Tooling (RT). The greatest opportunity for RT implementation would be the use of Additively Manufacturing (AM) technology. Specifically, AM techniques which use a high strength polymer resin substrate.

The following research is an initial feasibility study to determine if Polymer Rapid Tools (PRTs) could be used as functional injection mold tooling. The objective of the research was to determine if a PRT could mold a variety of features to a given dimension, within conventional tolerance limits, and do so repeatedly. Initially, simple geometric shapes, which represent commonly molded features, were molded and studied. This was followed by molding more complex and commercially available plastic components. In this study, conventionally produced aluminum tools were used as a control for dimensional comparison.