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3D Metal Printing In The Medical Industry

3D Metal Printing In The Medical Industry

Fast manufacturing and high precision of medical implants are crucial. Metallic additive manufacturing is opening new possibilities for medical and dental application. Article by CADS Additive GmbH.

The medical and dental industry face complex challenges. Fast manufacturing and high precision of medical implants are crucial.

First and foremost, the manufacturing of these implants requires a multitude of preparation and process steps, starting from capturing of patient-specific data using imaging techniques, through creation of implant geometries and their preparation for 3D metal printing, up to post-processing and finishing. New technologies and innovation drive these industries but also the companies themselves. Different demands call for different approaches and solutions.

Here, metallic additive manufacturing opens new possibilities for medical and dental application as well as for partners and suppliers of these industries. Nevertheless, one has to create and manage a large amount of data and map these as efficiently as possible through the whole process. To be successful, efficient data preparation for metal 3D printing is fundamental.

Software for Medical and Dental Technology

Founded as a Joint Venture in 2016, CADS Additive GmbH today is a fully owned subsidiary of the company CADS GmbH, both based in Perg, Austria. CADS Additive stands for developing outstanding software components and intuitive software solutions for 3D metal printing. As a manufacturer of high-performance data preparation and data management software solutions, CADS Additive is an innovative and competent partner in the field of industrial metallic additive manufacturing worldwide.

With the knowledge and expertise in developing intuitive software for medical as well as dental technology, they work with various companies to problem solve and deal with challenges, as well as find new opportunities within the industry.

“Our high-performance software solutions and components are game-changing for their decision on 3D metal printing software. What is further crucial for their 3D printing success,” Daniel Plos, Sales Director at CADS Additive, continues.For other exclusive articles, visit www.equipment-news.com.

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SLM Solutions’ Next Disruption In Additive Manufacturing Vows To Impress

SLM Solutions’ Next Disruption In Additive Manufacturing Vows To Impress

SLM Solutions invites the industry to a game-changing product launch on June 23 at 5pm CEST. The launch will take place digitally and will be accessible to everyone at SLM-SOLUTIONS.COM/THE-BIG-LAUNCH. The new product empowers the creation of metal components with previously impossible designs and unmatched productivity, reducing overall material usage and minimizing the end-part cost to achieve industrial-scale production.

Sam O’Leary, CEO of SLM Solutions, is enthusiastic about the upcoming product launch “Last year we introduced an industry gamechanger—the NXG Xll 600—but we won’t stop there. Today, after three years in the making and care of many of the world’s most visionary engineers, we are proud to add a new technology to our portfolio.”

The groundbreaking product has a record impact on part design and increases the productivity of the entire process by reducing powder consumption and scrap and shortening post-processing times. Likewise, improved thermal management will significantly shorten the build time while substantially reducing part stress. As a result, a surface finish like no other will soon be the new norm.

And—like almost everything they bring to life—it’s holistic. On this topic, O’Leary adds, “Why is it is available for most systems in our portfolio? Because we strive to make every new piece of technology meet the demands of every priorly-built machine. We believe that creating truly open architecture is the only way to bring additive manufacturing to its powerful potential.”

What’s more, the technology’s basic subscription will be completely free of charge. O’Leary explains, “The goal is to be relentless in innovation. It’s free because we want to empower our partners and customer base. Why should this remain an enablement of just a few when it can benefit all?”.

O’Leary concludes that “This new technology is another milestone, not only for us but for the entire industry. As a high-tech company, we are once again shaping the face of additive manufacturing with this product launch. It’s the next disruption in the manufacturing industry, so it’s worth attending.”

What does the next disruption of additive manufacturing look like? SLM Solutions’ industry experts will explain on June 23 at 5pm CEST at the online product launch that includes an open discussion. Participation is free of charge.

Sign up at SLM-SOLUTIONS.COM/THE-BIG-LAUNCH

 

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Additive Manufacturing Standards For Medical Production

Additive Manufacturing Standards For Medical Production

Dedicated standards for medical devices produced using Additive Manufacturing are already in preparation. Gregor Reischle, Head of Additive Manufacturing at TÜV SÜD highlights the importance of additive manufacturing standards for medical devices and what manufacturers need to consider before they start. 

Gregor Reischle

Dedicated standards for medical devices produced using Additive Manufacturing are already in preparation. In future, they will smooth the path for the implementation of new technologies as well as their assessment for approval. In this interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), Gregor Reischle, Head of Additive Manufacturing at testing, inspection and certification services provider TÜV SÜD, shares what aspects need to be considered against this backdrop.

Why do we need standards to help us use AM technology for medical production?

Gregor Reischle (GR): Items that are already produced using Additive Manufacturing, such as protective face coverings, masks and visors or products for radiation treatment, are subject to particularly rigorous conformity and safety standards. However, assessment procedures for approval of these products take time – and time is of the essence in a pandemic. Standards help to ensure regulatory requirements are implemented reliably, promptly and cost-effectively, thus minimising risks. They also represent state-of-the-art solutions and serve to concentrate specific knowledge.

There are still no Additive Manufacturing standards designed specifically for medical devices. Where can manufacturers seek guidance in the meantime?

GR: We have drawn up checklists for all the most important requirements in the main standards and regulations relating to Additive Manufacturing, covering those that set out more general terms as well as the first more specific requirements. We are currently providing the checklists free of charge International standard organisations such as ASTM International and ISO are likewise providing access to relevant standards free of charge at the moment, for items such as personal protective equipment and medical devices. This benefits testing laboratories, healthcare specialists and the general public.

How widespread are 3D-printed medical devices?

GR: Conventionally manufactured products still make up the majority. Anyone using 3D printing today is pursuing strategic aims and is willing to invest a lot of time in such products. Additive manufacturing is only widespread in specific areas of medical engineering, like prosthetics and dental technology. In fact, probably all the major manufacturers in the dental industry now supply 3D printers, some of which can even be used in medical practices. 

What changes will the MDR introduce in this respect compared to its predecessor, the MDD?

GR: Under the Medical Device Directive (MDD), these “custom-made products” can be used without the need for CE marking. Although the same will apply under the Medical Device Regulation (MDR), manufacturers of class III implantable custom products will now need to call in a Notified Body to perform conformity assessment of their quality management system. Many products will fall into a higher class under the MDR, and this may require the involvement of a Notified Body in some cases. Custom-made products will be replaced by a common basic model which is customised for patient-specific use.

How will upcoming standards support the requirements to fulfil regulatory requirements such as MDR conformity? And which existing standards could already be useful?

GR: The requirements of the MDR state that a Notified Body must assess the manufacturer’s quality management system and verify compliance of its processes with the state of the art. DIN SPEC 17071—the specification for requirements concerning quality-assured processes at additive manufacturing centres—can usefully be applied here. The guideline is aimed at minimising risks stemming from parts and components produced using Additive Manufacturing, irrespective of the industry or sector. A project to transfer these findings to medical engineering is already under way, and a white paper on the subject will be published very soon. The DIN SPEC 17071 will also be advanced to reach the international ISO/ASTM level; the upcoming ISO 52920 and 52930 represent state-of-the-art quality assurance for AM production.

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Desktop Metal And Uniformity Labs Announce Breakthrough In Aluminium Sintering For Binder Jetting Technology

Desktop Metal And Uniformity Labs Announce Breakthrough In Aluminium Sintering For Binder Jetting Technology

Desktop Metal, Inc. (NYSE: DM), a leader in mass production and turnkey additive manufacturing (AM) solutions, and Uniformity Labs, a leading additive manufacturing company that is revolutionising industrial 3D printing materials and processes, has announced a breakthrough powder that enables aluminium sintering for binder jetting AM technology. This new powder is the result of a multi-year collaboration between the companies to develop a low-cost, raw material yielding fully dense, sinterable 6061 aluminium with greater than ten percent (10 percent) elongation and improved yield strength (YS) and ultimate tensile strength (UTS) versus wrought 6061 aluminium with comparable heat treatment.

“This breakthrough represents a major milestone in the development of aluminium for binder jetting and a significant step forward for the AM industry as it is one of the most sought-after materials for use in automotive, aerospace and consumer electronics,” said Ric Fulop, CEO and co-founder of Desktop Metal. “The global aluminium castings market is more than $50 billion per year, and it is ripe for disruption with binder jetting AM solutions. These are the best reported properties we are aware of for a sintered 6061 aluminium powder, and we are excited to make this material available exclusively to Desktop Metal customers as part of our ongoing partnership with Uniformity Labs.”

“The introduction of lightweight metals to binder jetting opens the door to a wide variety of thermal and structural applications across industries,” said Adam Hopkins, founder and CEO of Uniformity Labs. “This innovation is a key step towards the adoption of mass-produced printed aluminium parts.”

This new powder enables the sintering of unadulterated 6061 aluminium and represents a significant improvement over prior techniques used to sinter aluminium, which required coating powder particles, mixing sintering aids into powder, using binders containing expensive nanoparticles, or adding metals such as lead, tin and magnesium. Critically, the powder also enables compatibility with water-based binders and has a higher minimum ignition energy (MIE) relative to other commercially available 6061 aluminium powders, resulting in an improved safety profile.

Desktop Metal and Uniformity Labs plan to continue to work together over the coming year to qualify the powder and scale production for commercial release. Once fully qualified, Uniformity 6061 aluminium will be available for use with the Desktop Metal Production System platform, which is the only metal binder jetting solution with an inert, chemically inactive processing environment across the printer and auxiliary powder processing equipment, enabling customers to achieve consistent, high-quality material properties across volumes of end-use parts with reactive materials, such as aluminium.

 

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Why Open-source 3D Printing Is The New Norm

Why Open-source 3D Printing Is The New Norm

Open systems are the future. The open concept will enable the pioneering of new applications and solutions in the aerospace industry and more. Article by MahaChem. 

For decades, most 3D printers adopt a closed system—where the user is restricted to the manufacturer’s resins. Economically, this means that chances are, the material is costlier as the manufacturer has the bargaining power over the user, who is restricted to their material offerings. For the same reason, it could also mean that users are unable to create something that is eco-friendly, unless the material is certified to be so. 

But most importantly, this limits the creativity of the individual to come up with a product with the best design paired with the ideal material. Of course, closed source printers aren’t all that bad, they ensure that the quality of the end product is up to standard, by ensuring that their materials are of quality.

However, with the invention of the open-source 3D printing technology, the woes of product designers have been resolved. The designer now has the power to choose any material from any supplier based on their personal preferences. Want a cheaper material? Find an economical supplier. Want an environmentally friendly product? Find a supplier with green or eco-friendly resins or filament. Want a malleable product? Find a soft polymer supplier. 

All in all, this means that designers are free to create whatever they have in their imagination. This has become a new norm over the years as more and more designers search for alternatives from closed-source printers to bring their imagination to life. As such, over the years there has been a surge in open-sourced 3D printers, particularly desktop ones, to meet the needs of the users.

Why is it Important for the Aerospace Industry?

3D printing has become especially important in the aerospace industry to address challenges like production time, cost of production and carbon emission. For example, it can produce lighter parts while maintaining strength, which reduces the aircraft’s overall weight, hence lowering its fuel consumption. This in turn, cuts operational costs and lowers carbon dioxide emission. Here are other benefits of 3D printing for the aerospace industry: 

Precision 

Surface finishing is critical in the aerospace industry. 3D printing parts can be post-processed to a very high precision. Technologies like Material Jetting are able to produce parts with smooth, injection moulding like surface finishing with little post processing needed. While Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is able to produce high performance metal parts. 

Materials That Are Licensed 

Currently, there are many qualified materials used in producing parts in the aerospace industries, depending on the technology. In SLM, Aluminium or Titanium are mainly used. Examples of parts printing with SLM are the suspension wishbone and the Jet engine. While in Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Nylon is the preferred material. Examples of parts printed with SLS include Air flow ducting and Tarmac nozzle bezel. Other technologies include Stereolithography (SLA) and Material Jetting, which uses Resin to produce parts such as Entry doors, brackets, and door handles.

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New Opportunities For Aerospace With DED 3D Printing Technology

New Opportunities For Aerospace With DED 3D Printing Technology

5-axis DED 3D printing is opening new possibilities and finding its own niche in the manufacturing industries. ModuleWorks deep dives into its software technology and the applications. 

Directed Energy Deposition (DED) refers to any additive manufacturing process that uses a focused energy source, such as a plasma arc, laser or electron beam to melt and deposit material from a nozzle onto a surface. 

5-axis DED technology is opening new possibilities and finding its own niche in the manufacturing industries. The aerospace industry, for example, relies on DED for cost-effective repair of moulds and turbine blades, and tool makers use DED for manufacturing and repairing sheet metal forming tools. 

Here, ModuleWorks provides an insight into the software technology (toolpath generation, simulation and post processing) that is making DED an increasingly attractive manufacturing option and shares how the technology opens new production possibilities.

Understanding the Software Technology

Multi-Axis Tool Path Generation

Like other CAM techniques, DED uses sophisticated tool path calculation algorithms to generate efficient, collision-free machining operations from the initial CAD or mesh data. Taking a free-form machining surface as input, the volume is generated and divided into 3D slices according to the desired layer thickness. Tool paths within the layers are generated using path patterns which can be defined by path curves, intersections of guide surfaces or by automatically generated center axes. 

Propagation of the weld pool layers can be controlled by various sorting parameters. Further parameters optimise the tool path accuracy, point distribution and orientation of the laser head [CIRP Vol. 68/1, 2019, pp. 447 – 450]. The combination of the individual additive paths and the layers is automatically collision-free.

Additional features assist operators with both complex and everyday manufacturing tasks:

  • Path planning on scanned data
  • Orientation along wall structures to print areas with large overhangs
  • Fixed 6th axis to keep the orientation of the nozzle in the direction of movement for WAAM applications
  • Buildup of arbitrary curved shapes such as tube geometries

DED tool path generation software combines these features and takes the operator-defined parameters to automatically generate an additive toolpath optimised for DED manufacturing.

 

Multi-Axis Additive Simulation

Machine simulation is essential for catching collisions and other potential machining problems that would otherwise halt production and require operators to adjust the machining process (e.g. to redefine the workpiece zero point or reset the machine modules). Using an integrated machine simulation prevents this expensive downtime by detecting and avoiding collisions before they occur. Collisions between the part and print head, as well as printing errors, can be predicted and avoided.

DED simulation allows operators to define the shape of the tool (powder nozzle, laser) for each simulation job, and the operator-defined test points ensure a robust in-process model for the machine simulation which can be used for subsequent simulation steps. The simulation also checks for collisions between machine components, clamping devices and the in-process state of the workpiece.

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Hexagon And Authentise Partner To Deliver First Open End-To-End Software Solution For AM

Hexagon And Authentise Partner To Deliver First Open End-To-End Software Solution For AM

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division and Authentise have partnered to extend the Additive Manufacturing (AM) control loop from the machine level to connect the end-to-end value chain from design, manufacturing operations and quality assurance to make additive manufacturing more predictable, repeatable and traceable.

Data from shopfloor manufacturing operations, engineering data from the design phase, materials properties and quality data from validation and inspection processes hold the key to automating serial production improvements and enabling design improvements. However, the technical challenge of connecting these silos and applying these data have inhibited the ability to consistently apply AM to new designs. New solutions delivered through the partnership will apply Statistical Process Control (SPC) with Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods to mitigate waste and quality issues during the design phase and improve the repeatability of additive manufacturing processes within a site or between global locations.

Through the partnership, Hexagon and Authentise will build solutions to industrialise AM technology by digitising every step of the workflow from part design through production to final product and quality assurance utilising their unique stack of technology capabilities to connect the digital thread of a part and trace its pedigree. This is made possible by a shared commitment to open architectures that integrate data and automate workflows between Hexagon´s best-of-breed applications for AM and the third-party equipment and software manufacturers chose to use.

Mathieu Pérennou, Global Business Development Director Additive Manufacturing, Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division says, “Together with Authentise, we are building a next-generation framework for our customers to manage flexible, fully digitised production workflows in private cloud environments. For manufacturers, AM is a complex and changing market with many excellent tools, printers and materials to apply. We believe our open and flexible systems will enable us to respond quickly to customer’s needs and integrate with their unique environments. This will connect the data flow and help streamline their workflows in all stages of the AM process – before, during and after production and support their specific standards or compliance needs.”

Authentise is a key partner in Hexagon´s open AM ecosystem, having built an open manufacturing execution system tailored to the specific needs of additive manufacturing methods. This growing ecosystem provides a broad solution portfolio that allows Hexagon to build solutions tailored to the specific needs of customers from different industries and any level of complexity – from achieving high volume production of precision metal gears to first-time-right production of bespoke aerospace parts from composites.

Andre Wegner, CEO, Authentise says, “We are excited to combine Hexagon’s solutions with our open workflow management engine to offer a unique end-to-end solution platform. Integrating data from Hexagon’s best-of-breed software and sensors helps deliver a seamless experience for users, automation across their process, and unlocks the ability to learn from data. This partnership represents a step change for the industry – together we’re delivering the integrated digital thread for additive manufacturing that customers have sought for so long.”

 

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Intech Additive Solutions, Metal AM Pioneer In India, Bags Multiple Orders Worth USD 2M

Intech Additive Solutions, Metal AM pioneer In India, Bags Multiple Orders Worth USD 2M

Intech Additive Solutions Pvt Ltd.(Intech), the first Indian OEM successful in developing and supplying 3D metal printers based on laser powder bed fusion technology (LPBF) for industrial manufacturing, has bagged multiple orders in the last quarter of the FY ending 31st March,21 worth USD 2M  for its ‘Made in India’ Metal AM systems.

Intech, India’s first and only Metal Additive Manufacturer having its facility in Bengaluru,  has created history in the Metal AM industry by becoming the first Indian OEM to indigenously develop, manufacture, and sell its iFusion series of Metal AM systems, along with its Build Processing software AMBuilder and parameter optimisation software AMOptoMet – both developed in-house. These integrated systems have gained ready acceptance in the industry against stiff competition from global majors.

Intech’s multiple orders worth USD 2M  includes the sale of a combined total of six metal AM Systems, iFusion SF1, and iFusion LF1, configured with Pre-build software AMBuilder to five organisations, viz. Indo-MIM, a leading global supplier of Metal Injection Molding components catering to Aerospace, Medical, and Oil & Gas industries, Pandit Deendayal Energy University (PDEU) – for applications in Energy and Energy infrastructure, Poeir Jets- an Indian OEM for Heavy-lift Drones and two more renowned organisations in India whose names will be announced soon.

“We have focused on a steady and sustainable growth path despite the challenges of COVID and enforced lockdowns. It is exciting to see that our home grown iFusion series Metal AM systems, AM software suite AMBuilder and AMOptoMet has been well accepted and garnering increasing acclaim day by day as a better alternative to extremely expensive imported AM systems” said Sridhar Balaram, CEO of Intech Additive Solutions. “Our target industry segments are growing, and our investment strategy has kept up with the increased demand with the support of our strong team of experts in-house. We are also diversifying our team by adding innovative young professionals”

“The positive results of Q4′ 20-21 has prompted us to accelerate our investment plans in hardware, software, and consultancy. Our sales pipeline is highly promising. The market is prompting us to take a positive stand despite the looming COVID situation, which also gives us immense confidence to invest further.” said Pradeep Nair, Vice President -Hardware Sales, Intech.”We are confident and determined to establish Intech as a global OEM. Our primary task is to create an innovative ecosystem to produce metal AM products and services and embed them into mainstream manufacturing”

“Intech aspires to stay true to the principles of ‘Make in India’ and the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan,’ advocating self-reliance through India’s additive manufacturing industry’s technological transformation. It also aims to be a global solution provider for Metal AM Systems and AM Software, contributing to the growth of a sustainable ecosystem for AM systems in India to compete globally and ensure AM manufactured end-user functional components for domestic and export markets.” added Sridhar Balaram.

Intech is amongst a few manufacturers globally to integrate its metal printers with its build processing software – AMBuilder and an additional software tool AMOptoMet for parameter optimisation. Combining the two software packages with Intech’s printers provides users with an end-to-end metal AM solution along with local after-sales services.

 

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Driving Hard On The Race Track: Wear-Resistant Iglidur Gears In The Gearbox

Driving Hard On The Race Track: Wear-Resistant iglidur Gears In The Gearbox

The iglidur I6 gears from the 3D printer for car racing of the “Youth Discovers Technology” (Jugend entdeckt Technik – JET) challenge

Electromobility is a crucial topic of the future. For Germany to be in the pole position, it is important to inspire young minds to take up scientific and engineering professions. Towards this purpose, the annual JET Challenge takes place at the IdeenExpo in Hanover. Students are given the task of building a fast, tough and energy-efficient racing car from a standard, remote-controlled car with a limited budget. Wear-resistant 3D-printed gears from igus made from the high-performance plastic iglidur I6 helped in this endeavour.

Build a fast, energy-saving racing car from an ordinary, remote-controlled car and overtake all other teams in a race – that’s the goal of the “Youth Discovers Technology” (Jugend entdeckt Technik – JET) Challenge, organised by the Society of German Engineers (Verein Deutscher Ingenieure – VDI) and the University of Hanover (Hochschule Hannover – HSH). As with the renowned models, the key factor is not speed alone, but also energy efficiency. In June 2019, visitors to the IdeenExpo can see the JET Challenge in action at the HSH trade fair stand. 25 teams compete for victory with their racing cars on a 1:10 scale on a 20-metre race track. The rules are strict. Available to each team is a budget of just 50 euros. Apart from battery, motor and speed controller, all components must be purchased, developed or built by yourself.

Save money with the igus 3D printing service

The teams are currently preparing for the next IdeenExpo. Students of the Eugen Reintjes vocational school are relying on a wear-resistant and tough gear transmission to enhance the performance of their race car. The biggest difficulty with this gearbox was the gear procurement. Due to the small budget, the students couldn’t afford big innovations. Finally, they found what they were looking for at the motion plastics specialist igus in Cologne: cost-effective, low-wear gears from the SLS printer. After a simple online configuration, the gears were printed and provided, made from the high-performance plastic iglidur I6.

High performance plastic makes race cars tough

Laboratory tests prove that the material I6 is significantly tougher than other plastics. In an experiment at our in-house test laboratory, the engineers tested gears made of polyoxymethylene (POM) and iglidur I6 at 12 revolutions per minute and loaded with 5Nm. A machined gear made of POM failed after 621,000 revolutions, while iglidur I6 was still in very good condition after one million revolutions. Thus, the team does not have to worry about potential failures. The gears in the racing car have already successfully completed an initial test run. The car is energy efficient and still reaches the top speed of 60km/h.

The young engineers support from igus promotes innovative projects

Innovative projects such as the race car gears for the JET Challenge are supported by igus as part of the young engineers support. The initiative supports young pupils, students and inventors in the development and execution of their technical projects. Further information on yes can be found at http://www.igus.sg/yes.

 

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3D Printing The Future Of E-Mobility Tools

3D Printing the Future of E-Mobility Tools

Kennametal’s 3D printed stator bore tool meets accuracy, roundness, and surface finish requirements of hybrid and electric vehicles.

Kennametal has developed a 3D printed stator bore tool specifically designed to meet growing customer demand for lighter weight tooling solutions used to machine components for hybrid and electric vehicles.

E-mobility components are typically machined on smaller, low horsepower CNC machining centres that require lighter weight tooling solutions. Kennametal’s 3D printed stator bore tool weighs half that of the conventionally manufactured version, while still meeting accuracy, roundness, and surface finish requirements for aluminium motor body boring.

“The main bore, which houses the stator of an electric motor measures approximately 250 mm in diameter (9.84 in) and approximately 400 mm (15.74 in) in length, with a smaller bearing bore at the bottom,” says Harald Bruetting, Manager, Program Engineering, at Kennametal. “When manufactured using conventional means, a reamer for this type of application would weigh more than 25 kg (55 lb), far too heavy for the existing machine tool or for an operator working with the tool.”

Bruetting and Kennametal’s Solution Engineering Group turned to the company’s in-house additive manufacturing capabilities to 3D-print a strong but lightweight indexable tool, equipped with proven Kennametal technologies including fine adjustable RIQ reaming inserts for high precision finishing and a KM4X adaptor for maximum rigidity. The tool also features internal 3D printed cooling channels that help maximize productivity and tool life.

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