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HAAS ST-20Y
HAAS ST-20Y
Year: 2018

Chuck size: 210mm
Swing diameter workpiece: 533mm
Max. Turning diameter
HAAS ST-20Y Year: 2018 Chuck size: 210mm Swing diameter workpiece: 533mm Max. Turning diameter...
Zeisberg CNC Systeme Gmbh

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Mapal uses 3-D printing to improve tool efficiency

Posted on 16 Aug 2020 and read 944 times
Mapal uses 3-D printing to improve tool efficiencyTo realise the benefits of lightweight cutting tools, Rugby-based Mapal Ltd is now adopting 3-D printing – a process that is also providing complete design freedom for ever more innovative solutions.

As 3-D printed cutting tool structures can be designed and manufactured to minimise weight without compromising strength or integrity, Mapal engineers are increasingly pushing the boundaries of cutting tool design and development.

An example of how Mapal uses the advantages of 3-D printing can be seen in the company’s new bell tools with brazed PCD inserts (pictured).

Bell tools are frequently used in the hydraulic and automotive sectors, with examples being the external machining of hose connections on turbochargers where complex contour requirements must be met with precision.

This means that cutting tool production must be equally precise to ensure customers can achieve their cost-effective, precision machining requirements.

To meet the needs of the end-users, Mapal has optimised the existing, conventionally manufactured bell tool by integrating selective laser melting process into its manufacturing processes.

This allows the inside of the cutting tool to be modified. So, instead of using tools with a heavy solid material design, the new Mapal tools have been specially designed with a honeycomb structure.

As a consequence, the tool is at least 30% lighter and the tool life is increased by upwards of 40%, credit to the enhanced vibration damping characteristics of additive manufactured tool designs. It is therefore now possible to machine at higher speeds and feeds while retaining the quality demands that Mapal end users have come to expect.

Customers using Mapal’s additive manufactured tools are making productivity improvements in the region of 50%.

Additionally, Mapal engineers are using the 3-D printing technology to optimise the cooling channels, ensuring that cutting fluid is delivered to the cutting area via the most efficient possible route. The new bell tool is a hybrid design that can be specified by the end user to meet their exact machining requirements.

Using selective laser melting, the new tool geometry is printed on a highly precise tool body with an HSK-63 connection.

The additively manufactured tool body is subsequently machined to provide the precise platform for the PCD inserts to be brazed into place and then cut to shape using a laser.