The use of 3D printing to manufacture tools produces geometries that would otherwise be impossible by conventional means. This new dimension to tool design has its unique advantages: More cutting edges and an HPC-optimised cutting edge geometry significantly increase tool productivity, achieving a feed rate that is up to 50% higher. The optimised course of the coolant channels ensures that each cutting edge is precisely supplied with coolant by a separate channel. 3D printing also outperforms conventional production methods in terms of delivery time. When manufacturing 3D-printed tools using selective laser melting technology, the choice of laser processing strategy is crucial.
The combination of technological expertise in 3D printing and decades of knowledge and experience in manufacturing high-precision tools is revolutionising the future of tool design. Dr. Reinhard Durst, Head of research and development for solid carbide tools at KOMET GROUP , explains: ”The ability to freely design the internal and external tool geometry alone means that excluding this generative process from our future plans would be inconceivable. This process increases tool performance and productivity to such a great extent that it creates considerable added value for our customers.“
KOMET JEL® HPC PCD face-milling cutter
Monoblock tool with extremely short delivery times and hybrid design. 3D-printed cutting edge holder fitted with PCD cutting edges. The optimised course of the coolant channels ensures that each cutting edge is precisely supplied with coolant by a separate channel and that chips are reliably removed from the face. Patent pending.
KOMET JEL® HPC PCD end milling cutter
3D-printed cutting edge holder with PCD cutting edges. Despite the large L/D ratio, impressive material removal rates can be achieved thanks to the carbide shank and the HPC-optimised cutting edge geometry. Patent pending.
KOMET JEL® HPC PCD screw-in cutter
3D-printed basic body with PCD cutting edges. Maximum number of cutting edges on a single tool. For example, the number of cutting edges on a 32 mm diameter screw-in cutter has increased from six to ten. Patent pending.
The 3D printing process favoured by the KOMET GROUP is selective laser melting in an argon inert atmosphere. The areas that will produce the component are precisely smelted in an extremely thin bed of metal powder using a high-performance ytterbium fibre laser and then solidified on cooling.
This process is repeated with a new layer of metal powder each time until the part is finished. The layers are generally between 20 and 60 μm thick. The thinner the layer, the greater the accuracy and surface quality.
Brand new drilling tool with 3D-printed inserts in the chip flutes. The chips are safely transported out of the drilled hole via a curved channel route. Significantly less cleaning is required after machining to obtain chip-free components. Patent pending.