Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

IUPUI School of Engineering and Technology

Walmart Project

Walmart Foundation


  • Optimal plastic injection molding tooling design and production through advanced additive manufacturing

  • The proposed research aims at reducing the cost and increasing the performance and versatility of U.S.-manufactured plastic injection tooling (dies and molds) through experimentally supported structural design optimization methods and metal additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing allows complex injection tooling production but is about 50% more expensive than traditional machining. Our proposed multiscale thermo-mechanical topology optimization approach leads to the generation of lightweight, high-performance, and cost-effective injection tooling through additive manufacturing. A 30% cost reduction and a 20% performance increase are expected with the optimized design.

    In order to address cost reduction and increased performance of U.S. injection tooling through metal additive manufacturing, our research involves three interrelated tasks: (1) optimal injection tooling design, (2) material testing and analysis, and (3) production, field-testing and technology transfer and commercialization

    Research tasks


  • Tong Wu, Suchana Jahan, Praveen Kumar, Andres Tovar, Hazim El-Mounayri, Jing Zhang, Doug Acheson, and Razi Nalim, “A framework for Optimizing the Design of Injection Molds with Conformal Cooling for Additive Manufacturing”, Procedia Manufacturing, 43rd Proceedings of the North American Manufacturing Institution of SME, Elsevier, pp xx, Vol. xx, 2015
  • Yi Zhang , Linmin Wu, Hazim El-Mounayri and Jing Zhang, “Molecular Dynamics Study of the Strength of Laser Sintered Nanoparticles”, Procedia Manufacturing, 43rd Proceedings of the North American Manufacturing Institution of SME, Elsevier, pp xx, Vol. xx 2015.
  • Doug Acheson, Hazim El-Mounayri, Andres Tovar, Razi Nalim Jing Zhang, Kim Brand, and Doyle Hewitt, “Groundbreaking collaboration between consumer retailed Walmart, University Research, and Existing Manufacturing and Revolutionary Additive Manufacturing Firms”, Proceedings of the 2015 Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration, ASEE, Palm Springs, CA, February 4-6, 2015.
  • Wu, T., A. Tovar, and K. Brand, “Hierarchical topology optimization of porous thermo-mechanical components”. In Proceedings of the 11th World Congress on Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (WSCMO-11). Sydney, Australia, June 7-12, 2015