There has been a great deal of hype surrounding the benefits of additive manufacturing for several years now. Numerous companies have invested in machines and have been trying out the innovative manufacturing process. Such trials often represent a cost-intensive learning process, but the focus is now increasingly on achieving verifiable successes. The following practical applications show that the technology is gaining more and more ground in the machining production environment. Trade visitors can expect to encounter the entire spectrum of 3D printing processes in the Additive Manufacturing Area at METAV from 10 to 13 March 2020.
Additive manufacturing can be used in a wide variety of ways. In metal cutting, it is above all the flexibility of the coolant lubricant (CL) feed that is attracting attention.
“Here, turning processes involving a coolant attachment or with narrow tools are deployed in cases where conventional internal cooling cannot be used,” said Dr. Matthias Luik, Head of Research and Development at Paul Horn GmbH.
The latest product with a 3D printing component from the Tübingen-based tool specialists is the CL distributor disc for a reaming tool. A number of special aspects must be taken into account in additive manufacturing (AM).
“The subsequent machining of the functional surfaces means that appropriate structures must be created for clamping the workpieces. Internal stress, which leads to distortion of the components, must also be taken into account. In this case, the position of the components in the workspace is a decisive factor,” said Dr. Luik.
The wide range of potential AM applications will make it economically viable to produce more and more parts in this way in the future to meet demand. In many cases, hybrid construction methods in which conventionally manufactured elements are combined with additive components will prove advantageous as means of reducing the machining work to a minimum. The Tübingen tool specialists will be showcasing their products at METAV and taking part in expert discussions.
New materials opening up unlimited possibilities
Scarcely any other manufacturing technology has undergone such rapid development in the past five years as AM. Development has been seen not only in the process itself but also in the related design skills, calculation models and analysis tools. In the past, the surfaces had to be extensively reworked, but today this can be minimised or dispensed with entirely. The METAV exhibitor Iscar has been providing additively manufactured tools for its customers for many years. 3D printing techniques are used when manufacturing with traditional methods is difficult or impossible.
“Our new product campaign features a number of tools that have never been available on the market before,” reports Erich Timons, CTO and Member of the Executive Board of Iscar Germany GmbH in Ettlingen.
“These include tools with very small diameters. When insert-based tools with internal coolant channels have to be produced, conventional methods quickly reach the limits of what is feasible.” He believes that 3D printing is still in its infancy.
“The focus in the future will be on using new additive materials. This includes the additive production of hard metals and hybrid materials. There is enormous potential right now, as it is possible to combine completely different material properties,” says Timons.
METAV 2020 in Düsseldorf
METAV 2020 – The 21st International Trade Fair for Metalworking Technologies displays the full spectrum of manufacturing technology. The focus is on machine tools, manufacturing systems, precision tools, automated material flows, computer technology, industrial electronics and accessories. Added to this are new topics such as moulding, medical, additive manufacturing and quality. They are firmly established in so-called areas in the METAV exhibition programme, each with its own nomenclature. The target group of METAV visitors includes all branches of industry that process metals, in particular mechanical and plant engineering, the automotive and supply industry, the aerospace sector, the electrical industry, energy and medical technology, tool and mould making as well as metalworking and trades.
For further details visit www.metav.com