Additive Manufacturing

JUL 2018

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING is the magazine devoted to industrial applications of 3D printing and digital layering technology. We cover the promise and the challenges of this technology for making functional tooling and end-use production parts.

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JULY 2018 Additive Manufacturing FEATURE / Hybrid Manufacturing 38 By Barbara Schulz Combining different processing steps in one machine is at- tractive for several reasons: It saves space, may allow multiple materials to be combined in one workpiece and can enable a component to be machined in a single setup. Hybrid machines, where additive manufacturing processes are incorporated with machining, have been on the market for quite a while now, but a new system from Hermle promises to advance hybrid manufac- turing of complex parts using multiple materials. Berthold Hermle AG entered the field of additive manu- facturing in 2013. Hermle Maschinenbau GmbH, a 100 percent Hermle integrated its MPA technology, a process where metal powder is applied by kinetic compacting to build completely sealed materials, into a five-axis machining center to create parts with highly complex inner geometries. Powder Application Plus Five-Axis Machining subsidiary with headquarters in Ottobrunn near Munich, is offering the Metal Powder Application process (MPA), which is combined with five-axis machining in one machine. The company is using a hybrid machine, the MPA 40, which has a powder application nozzle mounted alongside the vertical milling spindle and a heater built into the fourth/fifth-axis ro- tary table. According to Franz-Xaver Bernhard, member of the board at Hermle AG in Gosheim, Germany, a new machine version, the MPA 42 is on its way to be implemented, with first prototype scheduled to be installed at the end of August. The machines are not for sale, yet, but in addition to R&D, Hermle has production capacities for applications of the MPA technology to offer hybrid manufactured individual compo- nents to its customers. "The ultimate goal is to sell our hybrid machines, but we don't know yet when we'll be ready to do With MPA technology, different materials can be combined in one part. One application of interest is to embed copper elements as heat conductors in steel components. Often these copper elements transport the thermal energy from hot spots to the cooling channel located further inside the part. Similar to the production sequence for cooling channels, predefined geometries are filled with copper using the MPA process to achieve a thermal coupling between copper and steel substrate. After milling the surface, layers of steel are applied to cover the copper.

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