Keeping the AM process cool

Posted on 11 Oct 2017 and read 209 times
Keeping the AM process coolHybrid Manufacturing Technologies (HMT) (www.hybridmanutech.com), which is based in Swadlincote and specialises in combining additive and subtractive manufacturing (3-D printing and milling), is using Termotek chillers from Technotrans AG (www.technotrans.com) for its production process.

Set up in 2012 by Peter Coates and Jason Jones, HMT was the culmination of an R&D project looking at hybrid machine tool solutions.

Moreover, the success of the company is such that it has already expanded its production space and capacity. Its first contact with Technotrans was four years ago, but it was only last year, after recognising that multiple cooling circuits were needed for these hybrid machines, that talks between the two companies began in earnest.

Mr Coates, HMT’s technical director, said: “We need to chill the laser, optics and 3-D heads, which might require three different reservoirs, and each element might need a different size of cooler, so a tailored solution made sense.

“Most of our systems are used to apply small amounts of additive material to large substrates, where the heat is absorbed, but if a customer want to add material to smaller parts — or to use more heat in future — we might also need to cool the bed of the machine as well as the laser, optics and heads.”

Chillers have now been incorporated in four HMT machines; two will be used in Germany and two in Colombia.

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