AM & Tooling Additive Manufacturing for Higher Productivity
Mapal, an international supplier of precision tools for the machining of almost all materials, has optimized the conventionally manufactured bell tool by means of the laser melting process. What are the advantages?
If the weight of PCD tools is reduced, it is usually possible to work with significantly higher cutting data. In addition to design freedom, the possibility of weight optimization is one of the decisive advantages offered by 3D printing. Special developed structures inside the tool, which cannot be manufactured conventionally, can reduce the weight considerably.
Long Tool Life and Best Cutting Data
One example of how MAPAL uses this advantage of 3D printing in practice is the new bell tool with soldered PCD blades. Bell tools are used, among other things, for external machining of hose connections. These connections, for example on turbochargers, must meet complex contour requirements. The production must be correspondingly precise. In order to manufacture economically and reliably in series, work is also continuously being done on improving existing processes.
MAPAL has therefore optimised the existing, conventionally manufactured bell tool. Using the selective laser melting process, the inside of the tool has been changed - instead of solid material, a specially designed honeycomb structure is now used. As a result, the tool is 30 % lighter and the damping effect increases the tool life by about 40 %. As a consequence, machining can be carried out more quickly, while the machining quality remains as high as ever.
Overall, the machining time has been reduced by 50 %. In addition, the coolant duct routing has been optimized. The new bell tool is manufactured in hybrid production. The new tool geometry is imprinted by selective laser melting on a high-precision base body with an HSK-63 interface. The additively manufactured part is conventionally reworked. The PCD cutting edges are then soldered on and shaped by laser.