Soft tooling process chain for the manufacturing of micro-functional features on molds used for molding of paper bottles

Prateek Saxena*, Giuliano Bissacco, Kenneth Ækær Meinert, Anna Halina Danielak, Macarena Méndez Ribó, David Bue Pedersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Paper-based packaging products, due to their excellent sustainable properties are preferred over the glass, plastic, and metal-based packaging solutions. The paper bottle molding process is very new in this category, and the tooling aspect is not well explored. Existing tooling solutions offer certain limitations in the molding process such as clogging of channels, low open-area fraction, low fatigue life, and longer cycle times. With the utilization of additive manufacturing techniques, the tooling can not only be made more economical and produced in shorter time duration but also more efficient. VAT photopolymerization based soft tooling process chain is highlighted and discussed in this work. Design of micro-features and their fabrication is carried out using UV light mask projection method. A characterization approach for precision manufacturing of micro-features using X-ray Computed Tomography is also discussed. Validation of the soft tooling process chain and its effectiveness against the conventional tools is presented and discussed in this work. It is shown that the proposed soft tooling process chain for the manufacturing of molds for paper bottle production is a better performing and cheaper alternative to existing solutions implemented in industry.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Processes
Pages (from-to)129-137
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • VAT photopolymerization
  • Computed tomography
  • Paper molding
  • Micro-manufacturing
  • Tooling process chain

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