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Aidro Becomes Qualified Supplier Of Leonardo Helicopters For Additive Manufacturing Of Aluminum Flight Parts

Aidro Becomes Qualified Supplier of Leonardo Helicopters for Additive Manufacturing of Aluminum Flight Parts

Aidro, a pioneer in the volume production of next-generation hydraulic and fluid power systems through metal additive manufacturing (AM) and a subsidiary of Desktop Metal (NYSE: DM), has become a qualified supplier of aluminum flight parts for leading aerospace, defense, and security company Leonardo through its helicopters division.

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Hexagon And Stratasys Collaboration Delivers Holistic 3D Printing Solutions

Hexagon And Stratasys Collaboration Delivers Holistic 3D Printing Solutions

Through the virtual engineering and manufacturing support provided by the partnership, customers will be able to reduce a two to three-year timescale of designing and testing a part to six to nine months.

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence Division has announced a new solution with Stratasys, a leader in polymer 3D printing solutions, to help manufacturers in the aerospace sector boost confidence in the performance and safety of 3D printed plastic components and compress time to market. Through the new partnership, users of Stratasys’ ULTEMTM 9085 filament can now use Hexagon’s Digimat material modeling software to predict how printed parts will perform.

Stratasys solutions deliver competitive advantages at every stage in the product value chain with innovative 3D printing solutions for industries such as aerospace, automotive, consumer products and healthcare.


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Tool Craft For Aircraft

Tool Craft For Aircraft

Andrei Petrilin, Technical Manager of ISCAR showcases its new developments for aircraft machining of tomorrow.  

In machining aerospace components, the main challenges relate to component materials. Titanium, high-temperature superalloys (HTSA), and creep-resisting steel are difficult to cut and machining is a real bottleneck in the whole aircraft supply chain. Poor machinability of these materials results in low cutting speeds, which significantly reduces productivity and shortens tool life. Both these factors are directly connected with cutting tools. 

In fact, when dealing with hard-to-machine typical aerospace materials, cutting tool functionality defines the existing level of productivity. The truth is, cutting tools in their development lag machine tools, and this development gap limits the capabilities of leading-edge machines in the manufacturing of aerospace components.  

Modern aircraft, especially unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), feature a considerably increased share of composite materials. Effective machining composites demand specific cutting tools, which is the focus of a technological leap in the aerospace industry.

Aircraft-grade aluminum continues to be a widely used material for fuselage elements. It may seem that machining aluminum is simple, however, selecting the right cutting tool is a necessary key to success in high-efficiency machining of aluminum.

A complex part shape is a specific feature of the turbine engine technology. Most geometrically complicated parts of aero engines work in highly corrosive environments and are made from hard-to-cut materials, such as titanium and HTSA, to ensure the required life cycle. A combination of complex shape, low material machinability, and high accuracy requirements are the main difficulties in producing these parts. Leading multi-axis machining centers enable various chip removal strategies to provide complex profiles in a more effective way. But a cutting tool, which comes into direct contact with a part, has a strong impact on the success of machining. Intensive tool wear affects surface accuracy, while an unpredictable tool breakage may lead to the discarding of a whole part. 

A cutting tool – the smallest element of a manufacturing system – turns into a key pillar for substantially improved performance. Therefore, aerospace part manufacturers and machine tool builders are waiting for innovative solutions for a new level of chip removal processes from their cutting tool producers. The solution targets are evident: more productivity and more tool life. Machining complex shapes of specific aerospace parts and large-sized fuselage components demand a predictable tool life period for reliable process planning and a well-timed replacement of worn tools or their exchangeable cutting components.

Coolant jet

In machining titanium, HTSA and creep-resisting steel, high pressure cooling (HPC) is an efficient tool for improving performance and increasing productivity. Pinpointed HPC significantly reduces the temperature at the cutting edge, ensures better chip formation and provides small, segmented chips. This contributes to higher cutting data and better tool life when compared with conventional cooling methods. More and more intensive applying HPC to machining difficult-to-cut materials is a clear trend in manufacturing aerospace components. Understandably, cutting tool manufacturers consider HPC tooling an important direction of development.

ISCAR, one of leaders in cutting tool manufacturing, has a vast product range for machining with HPC. In the last year, ISCAR has expanded its range by introducing new milling cutters carrying “classical” HELI200 and HELIMILL indexable inserts with 2 cutting edges (Fig. 1). This step brings an entire page of history to ISCAR’s product line.

The HELIMILL was modified and underwent changes which led to additional milling families and inserts with more cutting edges. The excellent performance and its close derivatives of the original tools ensured their phenomenal popularity in metalworking. Therefore, by adding a modern HPC tool design to the proven HELIMILL family was a direct response to customer demand and the next logical tool line to develop.

In Turning, ISCAR considerably expanded its line of assembled modular tools comprising of bars and exchangeable heads with indexable inserts. The bars have both traditional and anti-vibration designs and differ by their adaptation: cylindrical or polygonal taper shank. A common feature for the nodular tools is the delivery of internal coolant to be supplied directly to the required insert cutting edge (Fig. 2). The efficient distribution of coolant increases the insert’s tool life by reducing the temperature and improving chip control and chip evacuation; substantially increasing this application line in the aerospace industry.

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Separating Additively Manufactured Aerospace Parts

Separating Additively Manufactured Aerospace Parts

Here’s how Ohnhäuser GmbH is using BEHRINGER GmbH’s 3D bandsaw to accurately separate additively manufactured aerospace parts from the printing plate. 

Additive manufacturing of parts continues to gain a foothold, particularly in applications where typical production techniques reach their limits. One of the clear advantages of 3D printing technology is the seemingly limitless shapes and structures of the creations. Even a moving group of parts can be printed as a complete unit, so there is no need for post-production assembly.

In the last year, BEHRINGER GmbH added two new models to its product portfolio with its new 3D series—the HBE320-523 3D and LPS-T 3D. The high-performance bandsaw machines were developed to separate additively manufactured parts of different shapes and sizes. 

Ohnhäuser GmbH from Wallerstein is primarily known as a contract manufacturer and premium supplier for the aerospace industry. To manage the demands of manufacturing bionically constructed parts, the company expanded its production methods to include additive manufacturing. In the latest stage of development in 3D printing, Ohnhäuser is concentrating on the use of a special titanium powder, optimised for aerospace requirements. As a material, titanium boasts strength characteristics in the range of tempered steel with a comparatively low weight. An EOS M 290 printer is used to generate the 3D metal parts.

After additive manufacturing, the titanium parts must be separated from the printing plate. While carrying out research into a suitable separation process it became clear that only a saw system would make the cut. “We then contacted BEHRINGER to ask what solutions our bandsaw manufacturer could offer” recalls Moritz Färber. “Ohnhäuser had been using a bandsaw machine from BEHRINGER for several years, so we knew the company was a high-quality and reliable manufacturer of saw machines.”

Precision Sawing of a Range of Materials

When it comes to highly-sensitive 3D printing, accurate separation of the part from the printing plate is essential. Deviations in the cut or drifting out of the cutting channel is not permitted, as this would damage either the base plate or the printed parts.

The HBE320-523 3D is based on the already established HBE Dynamic series—featuring robust construction, energy-efficient drive system, and above all, accurate sawing. It cuts the inserted materials with precision to a tolerance of tenths, whether it be steel, aluminium, nickel-based alloys, titanium or plastic. The bandsaw blades can also be quickly and flexibly changed to suit the material that is being sawn. All the machine’s blade-guidance parts are cast in Behringer’s in-house foundry. The grey cast iron dampens vibrations and reduces unpleasant background noise during cutting. All these factors have a positive effect on the sawing process, resulting in high cutting performance and a long bandsaw service life.

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