Video: Sheet Metal Forming Without a Die
Ford Motor Company produced this video of its process for forming sheet metal directly from the CAD model, without any need for a die. Robots from FANUC Robotics use a stylus to shape the sheet metal into the desired form. Parts that otherwise might have required months of leadtime for die tooling can be manufactured within days of being designed.
Eliminating tooling is a theme with Ford. We have also covered the company’s use of 3D printing in sand to eliminate patterns in prototype casting.
Optimizing a camshaft lobe grinding cycle has traditionally been based less on science and more on educated guesswork and numerous test grinds. Now, computer thermal modeling software can predict areas where lobe burning is likely to occur, in order to determine the fastest possible work speed that won't thermally damage lobes and greatly reduce the number of requisite test grinds.
Laser scanning technology enables this automotive aftermarket company to design and machine custom sets of pistons in short order.
A leading manufacturer of high-performance valve train components installed a twin spindle/twin-turret lathe to bring camshaft machining work in-house. Here, the company explains how it has become more effective using its multifunction lathe to produce small batches of custom racing camshafts.