Additive Manufacturing Magazine Explores Transformative Tooling, Education
The May 2018 issue of Additive Manufacturing magazine explores unconventional applications for 3D-printed tooling and one university’s answer to the AM skills gap, among other stories.
3D-printed tooling such as workholding devices, check gages and coordinate measuring machine (CMM) fixtures are becoming a more common sight in machine shops, which benefit from the ability to make custom tooling quickly and at lower cost. But are there other manufacturing sectors and industries utilizing 3D-printed tooling with success? Without a doubt, yes.
The May issue of Additive Manufacturing magazine looks at the ways 3D-printed tooling is transforming industries that might not be obvious users of the technology. For example, the cover story of this issue explores how a manufacturer of precast concrete has found success in using 3D-printed forms to pour hundreds of concrete windows to be installed on a skyscraper in New York City. Another story shows how a physical vapor deposition (PVD) coater leverages 3D-printed tooling for masking parts prior to the process. 3D printing can also manufacture punches and dies for press brakes, as shown in this case study.
Of course, any company leveraging 3D printing (whether for prototyping, tooling or part production) needs people who know additive manufacturing. As AM workforce needs grow and technologies continue to advance, what does a higher-ed additive program look like? One model might be the additive manufacturing certificate program recently launched at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.
Find these stories and more in the May 2018 issue of Additive Manufacturing magazine.
Analyzing directed energy deposition and powder-bed fusion provides a thorough understanding of the extra machining necessary for a “near net shape” versus a “net shape” manufacturing process.
When Precision Metal Products purchased its first 3D printer last year, the company hoped to collapse both tooling costs and lead times. But the technology’s impact is reaching core business operations, enabling the shop to focus on higher-margin, lower-volume production.
With PCD tooling, yes it can. The diamond cutting edges demand a large number of flutes to realize their full effectiveness. Traditional methods for making cutter bodies limit the number of flutes, but 3D printing is delivering tools with higher flute density and other enhancements as well.