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Peter Zelinski

Peter Zelinski has been a writer and editor for Modern Machine Shop for more than a decade. One of the aspects of this work that he enjoys the most is visiting machining facilities to learn about the manufacturing technology, systems and strategies they have adopted, and the successes they’ve realized as a result. Pete earned his degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Cincinnati, and he first learned about machining by running and programming machine tools in a metalworking laboratory within GE Aircraft Engines. Follow Pete on Twitter at Z_Axis_MMS.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 13. October 2014

Video: Miniature Jet Engine Made through Additive Manufacturing

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GE produced this video about a working jet engine model that was created through additive manufacturing and run in a GE Aviation test cell. The video briefly documents the manufacturing process that produced in this engine, a process that illustrates at least two significant points related to additive manufacturing. They are:

1. Design freedom. Because it makes parts that machining can’t produce, additive manufacturing offers the opportunity to reengineer parts and assemblies for greater performance. GE’s engineers started with a radio-controlled aircraft engine, but then they improved its components for additive manufacturing. (They also further improved them by making them from high-temperature alloys a radio-controlled engine wouldn’t normally use.)

2. Secondary operations. Additive manufacturing makes intricate parts, but it does not necessarily make finished parts. The video shows this. The parts that were produced additively (on an EOS M270 machine) went on to receive secondary machining and finishing steps. The same will almost certainly be true of any production metal part made through additive manufacturing.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 8. October 2014

Arcam Acquires Medical Manufacturer DiSanto Technology

DiSanto Technology moved into additive manufacturing recently, but it built its business on machining. The company’s Shelton, Connecticut, plant has about 55 CNC machine tools.

Metal additive manufacturing machine maker Arcam has acquired DiSanto Technology, the user of Arcam’s electron beam melting technology that we reported on in this article. DiSanto was a successful medical-industry machine shop before the company moved into additive manufacturing for producing surgical implants. Thus, with this acquisition, one thing Arcam gains is machining capacity and expertise. As the article at the link above points out, additive manufacturing and CNC machining go together, because the implants made this way have to be machined, and because making those parts creates the need for related components made through machining.

With this move, Arcam also essentially completes a North American supply chain for additively manufactured parts, because the company also recently acquired Canadian metal powder manufacturer AP&C. Arcam can now supply raw material, additive machines and finished products. Read the company’s own statements about the acquisitions of both companies.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 6. October 2014

OD Turning on a Machining Center

You probably didn’t know how effective your machining center could be at OD turning. A tool like the one seen here can make it possible to machine precise cylindrical features of an otherwise odd-shaped part without resorting to a lathe, and doing so in a way that achieves finishes superior to what circular milling can achieve. The tool shown here is supplied by Big Kaiser, which prepared this article on the various tooling types that might be used for OD turning on a machining center.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 30. September 2014

Video: Additive Manufacturing of Metal Matrix Composites for High-Hardness Parts

NanoSteel produced the video here, as well as this related video, to describe its recent success at applying additive manufacturing to build high-hardness ferrous metal matrix composite parts. The metal matrix composite in these builds combines steel in two phases, a hard phase embedded in a ductile phase. Achieving this combination through laser sintering permits parts with high hardness to be additively grown without the cracking that often hinders additive manufacturing of hard steels. NanoSteel sees this success opening the door to additive manufacturing of cutting tools, bearings, dies and downhole equipment. Read more from the company here.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 25. September 2014

Do Your Kids Know What You Did at IMTS?

Sandvik Coromant used the recent International Manufacturing Technology Show as an opportunity for outreach to the next generation of manufacturing professionals. The cutting tool maker funded a virtual field trip to IMTS consisting of three video episodes that were filmed at the show, edited at the show and broadcast to 200 schools while the show was underway. Find links to all three episodes below. Consider sharing these episodes with the kids in your life, particularly if it helps them understand where you go and what you see when you make your own trip to IMTS.

Called “Technology Applied,” the IMTS virtual field trip was hosted by Jeremy Bout of Underhouse Studio. The still above, from the Automotive episode, shows Mr. Bout talking to Derrin Barber of Doosan in this company's booth. Here are links to the episodes:

All of these episodes are part of a new microsite full of resources for helping kids understand and pursue careers in manufacturing. 

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