Page 38 - MetalForming-Jul-2018-issue
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Additive Manufacturing:
3D printing may offer a time- and cost-saving option for metalformers and fabricators. Read on for examples and reasons why.
  Tooling and fixturing applications obviously abound in manufac- turing environments. Not well known: Many of these applications can benefit from the speed and cost savings inherent in additive manufacturing (AM). Tools, jigs and fixtures, whether made from plastics, composites or met- als, in many cases, can be produced in a fraction of the time needed for machining or other traditional process- es. Oftentimes metal is the material of choice due to the rigors of the task at hand. In other cases, nonmetals do the trick.
“We see a wide variety of (AM) fix- turing and tooling applications in man- ufacturing environments,” Alissa Wild of Stratasys told MetalForming in the run-up to our September 2017 confer- ence, 3D Printing for Jigs, Fixtures and Prototypes. “Across industries and across facilities we see many departments— assembly, fabrication, health and safety, quality, packaging and logistics—using AM to create all different forms of non- metallic fixturing, workholding tooling and final-use assembly tooling as well as actual metalforming tooling.”
MetalForming editors have seen plenty of metal and nonmetal examples while attending various AM events this year, and received news on more. Here
are but a few examples, designed to convince metalformers and fab- ricators to think in new ways about ever-present challenges.
AM Mined for Improved Drilling
At this year’s RAPID + TCT show, held in April in Fort Worth, TX, Sand- vick displayed metal-AM tools pro- duced via laser-bed processes, using its powder materials. Here, AM reduces assembly needs and cre-
ates channels within the tools to promote cooling and deliver coolants and lubricants to the workpiece.
In a drilling application, a sliding case from LKAB Wassara, used for water-powered, down-the-hole hammers, was produced from Sandvick Osprey 18Ni300 marag-
ing steel. Optimized printed water
channels increase overall water
flow for improved performance.
And, AM enables the two parts of
the sliding case to be created as a
single unit. The result for LKAB Wassara: reduced assembly, more cost-efficient pro- duction and better reliability.
A sliding case from LKAB Wassara, used for water-pow- ered, down-the- hole hammers in drilling applica- tions, features optimized water channels and reduced assembly needs, both cour- tesy of the AM process.
 36 MetalForming/July 2018
For another mining application, high-precision nozzles from Varel are used to inject fluid across fixed
These AM high-precision cemented-carbide nozzles, used in mining applications to inject fluid across fixed cutter bits, significantly reduce production lead time as compared to machining.

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