Integrated solution: 3D metal print in combination with machine processing

hyperMILL CAD/CAM software provides perfect synergy between 3D metal printing and final machining. It is now possible to 3D print metal in combination with subsequent machining, which provides the best final surface.

3D PRINT METAL

In recent years, 3D metal printing has become an established industrial production process. The process of selective laser melting of powder-based metals (SLM technology) is particularly popular, as it creates a very homogeneous microstructure with minimal voids. The density of 3D printed parts thus exceeds 99.8 percent.

As an interesting fact – did you know that parts made with SLM technology are on average 20 to 30 percent more mechanically resistant than cast aluminum parts?

DOES COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE REPRESENT THE FUTURE OF THE OFFER?

Parare GmbH is a manufacturing service provider specializing in industrial 3D printing of metals and plastics. The company recognized the potential of this technology years ago. 3D printing is a direct manufacturing process based on CAD data and does not require tools, molds or CAM programming to produce parts.

The more conventional sequential steps required to manufacture a component, the more sensible it is to use 3D printing, as complexity does not have a major impact on costs in additive processes. The offer is thus particularly suitable for the production of prototypes and small series, where the production of expensive molds would not be feasible. 3D printing is also useful in the case of manufacturing small quantities of spare parts.

HOW DOES THE COMBINATION OF 3D PRINTING AND FINAL MACHINE PROCESSING WORK?

At Parare, they transfer their knowledge to customers and suggest to them where the use of 3D printing makes sense. They help clients in the design optimization phase, and then manufacture the components. In addition to SLM 3D printing, they also provide machining so that their customers get the best possible end products.

It is often necessary to add support structures in 3D printing for walls that exceed 45 degrees of inclination. The latter must be removed later, which is achieved by machining. Likewise, such processing is important for functional and sealing surfaces, connectors and threads to ensure the required level of precision and surface quality.

Previously, this last step was entrusted to external contractors, their partners. Experience has taught them that the intermediate link for machining is very critical. If the person programming or machining the part has not created the raw data for 3D printing themselves, this will often result in long processing times and, in the worst case, errors. The cost of rejecting pieces is very high at this stage.

For this reason, they began to pursue the goal of providing the final processing themselves. They set out to find a suitable “collaborator”, powerful CAD/CAM software with 5-axis processing. They decided to hyperMILL software.

CREATING COMPONENTS FOR 3D PRINTING WITH hyperCAD-S

Most of the time, they receive CAD data from the customers to make the parts. If the latter are not suitable for 3D printing, they are first transferred to hyperCAD-S. There, the surfaces are checked, smoothed and, if necessary, support and clamping structures are added. The necessary allowance for optimal milling is also calculated for the places to be machined. The piece is thus ready for production.

“We realized that the connection between 3D printing and machining is very important. It is in this place hyperMILL CAD/CAM software is a great solution for us.”
– Sven Skerbis, director of Parare

hyperMILL PROVIDES THE RIGHT STRATEGIES FOR ANY PIECE SHAPE

The excitement doesn’t end there hyperCAD-S, but is enhanced with CAM programming. Structures created by 3D printing are often very complex and can only be processed with 5-axis strategies. This is precisely one of the advantages hyperMILL CAD/CAM software as it offers multiple tilting strategies. This makes it possible to choose a suitable solution for each geometry, piece material and machine kinematics.

SHORTER PROGRAMMING TIME DUE TO “FEATURE & MACRO” TECHNOLOGY

What engineers especially like about hyperMILL is programming with the help of “macro” technology. hyperWith “macro” technology and related processes, MILL provides a solid basis for automated programming, which means a great saving of time already in the programming phase. By the way, this also applies to other complex parts that require milling.

In addition to a good tool database, the machining center used for both roughing and finishing must also be reliable. In Parare they use a module hyperMILL MAXX Machining from the “performance” package, which offers solutions for high-performance milling (High Performance Cutting). The package combines optimal milling paths, maximum material removal and minimum processing times.

For more information on hyperYou can visit MILL software website www.3way.si (P.R.)


Source: Računalništvo in telefonija – Računalniške novice by racunalniske-novice.com.

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