Tool and Mold Making

Challenges in Tool and Mold Making

Benefit from our comprehensive range of services for tool, die and mold making. In joint R&D projects, we develop individual solutions for your industrial applications. With our technological know-how and cross-industry experience, we help you meet your challenges in a solution-oriented manner.

  1. Skill shortage: The shortage of skilled workers is one of the most pressing challenges facing the industry.
  2. Digitalization: The shift to digital production processes enables faster and more flexible production, as well as the ability to meet individual customer requirements. Companies need to invest in technologies such as 3D printing, AI and IoT to remain competitive.
  3. Sustainability: The industry is heavily dependent on raw materials and energy, resulting in high CO2 emissions and other environmental impacts. Companies need to adopt more sustainable production and manufacturing processes, invest in green technologies, and switch to more sustainable materials.
  4. International competition: Companies need to focus more on innovative products and high efficiency to compete.


We will be happy to assist you with any of the tasks listed below

Our services range from the development of special technological solutions to the development and optimization of production facilities and the establishment of process chains.

  • Machining and injection molding simulation
  • Design, build and sample cutting and injection molding tools
  • Cost effective production of prototype molds
  • Replication of plastic components with particular expertise in microfluidic, micro-optic and biomedical applications

Solutions and Technologies for Toolmaking and Moldmaking



  • Injection and Casting
  • Ultra Precision Machining
  • New Materials

Sustainability and quality assurance

  • Digital Twins
  • Energy Efficient Production
  • Plant and Process Monitoring

Strategic Corporate Management

  • Benchmarking
  • Digital assistance for people 
  • Professional training


»Companies are facing major challenges that can only be met with flexibility and innovation.

They must adapt to ever-changing market conditions while keeping their customers' needs in mind.

Efficient and economical technologies and work processes enable companies to successfully meet these challenges.«


Prof. Dr. h. c. Dr.-Ing. Eckart Uhlmann
Director Fraunhofer IPK

Our topics and areas of focus

Das Fraunhofer IPK ist mit seinem Anwendungszentrum Mikroproduktionstechnik AMP als Forschungsdienstleister bestens auf die unterschiedlichen Aufgaben im Werkzeug- und Formenbau vorbereitet. Dafür stehen uns sowie unseren Kunden und Partnern neben einem Ultrapräzisions-, einem Hochpräzisions-, einem Erodier- und einem Lasermaterialbearbeitungslabor auch eine Spritzgussmaschine sowie moderne Messtechnik zur Oberflächen- bzw. Maschinenbeurteilung zur Verfügung.

Micro cutting tools

Process reliability in the use of microtools is not yet fully developed, and there is great potential for improving economic efficiency by reducing wear and tool breakage. At the Fraunhofer IPK, we analyze and optimize the entire process chain for the manufacture of microtools, including geometry generation, grinding production and cutting edge preparation. A special focus is on tools for replicative processes, e.g. for milling electrodes for EDM processes or for direct manufacturing of mold inserts, for microstructuring of surfaces as well as for direct machining of microcomponents.

Micro injection molds

The quality of replication in the production of highly complex plastic parts is largely determined by the injection molding tool used. We specialize in the manufacture of molds, especially at the technological frontiers, and offer our customers a closed process chain for the manufacture and testing of standard and micro molds as well as mold inserts with optical functionality. Subsequent sampling or production of functional samples can be carried out on a wide range of injection molding equipment and is supported by the latest results from research and development projects.

Technologies for microreplication

Innovative systems with micro-optical, microfluidic or biomedical functionality can only be produced with equally innovative injection molding tools, machines and process technologies. Our injection molds are equipped with generatively manufactured components and, together with specialized micro-injection molding equipment, mold integrated temperature and pressure sensors, and a high-precision temperature control system, ensure a variothermal injection compression molding process. In this way, we enable the replication of micro-optics with minimized shrinkage, warpage and birefringence properties, while at the same time providing process-reliable molding of sub-micron diffractive optical features.

Additive manufacturing

In addition to traditional processes such as turning, milling, drilling and grinding, additive manufacturing is finding its way into tool and mold making. Its advantages are particularly apparent when tools with near-contour cooling or lightweight versions are required. We develop and optimize generative manufacturing processes for one-off or small series production of tools and tool components. With selective laser melting (SLM), selective laser sintering (SLS) and 3D printing, we offer three promising technologies that can be used to reliably process a wide range of materials, from plastics to metal alloys.