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cross dimensional manufacturing
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Pace Maker
for High-End
Precision
Parts

Additive Manufacturing

Powder bed and powder nozzle: How imagination and metal powder create groundbreaking solutions

Structures that seemed previously impossible. Efficient cooling of entire geometries in confined space. Just two examples of how additive manufacturing opens completely new dimensions of thinking and working.

Technology.

In laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF), lasers are used to melt down high-performance metal powders layer by layer, before shaping them into the desired form. In laser metal deposition (LMD), on the other hand, a powder nozzle and lasers are used to deposit the material precisely on to the tool. We perform this process using a bespoke Trumpf TruLaser Cell 3000 with a horizontal and vertical rotary axis. We then use machining processes to refine the unmachined parts, turning them into complete functional components.

Application.

Additive manufacturing enables the production of highly complex geometries without the need for any tools – much more quickly and with fewer resources than traditional production methods. And the high-quality results speak for themselves. We can even fulfil the stringent requirements of the aerospace and motorsports industries. We have been Nadcap and TÜV Süd certified since 2018. Using the powder nozzle, we can repair defective components, apply coatings and wear protection, and produce hybrid structures. Our nozzle technology and our machinery’s design also allow us to perform extreme high-speed laser material deposition (EHLA), which is a process developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT.

Quality assurance.

In addition to analysing the powder used, toolcraft evaluates the properties of additively manufactured test pieces, as these are representative of the subsequently produced components. The dynamic strength of various metals is evaluated by fatigue testing. The resulting Wöhler curves indicate the relationship between the number of cycles to failure and the applied stress.

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Process Chain – Additive Manufacturing (L-PBF and LMD)

Additive manufacturing (AM) relies much more heavily on practical experience in the various stages of the process than any other production method. toolcraft covers the complete process chain under one roof: from design to manufacturing and finishing. This is rounded off on the digital side with an end-to-end software solution – Siemens' NX. toolcraft’s in-house quality assurance lab sets new standards.

01Design und simulation
02Materials analysis
03Additive manufacturing – L-PBF and LMD
04Heat treatment
05Further processing / finishing
06Quality assurance

01
Design und simulation

From traditional design to reverse engineering and topology optimisation, there are many sides to additive design. In addition to being printable, designs must be validated for their intended purpose. We do this by using powerful FEM and CFD software, which is fully integrated into our Siemens system. Combined with our use of warpage simulation software and component compensation methods, our employees’ long-standing expertise allows us to successfully follow the first-time-right approach.

02
Materials analysis

Our in-house measuring and testing laboratory provides us with the answers we need to ensure reliable component quality. Our analyses cover a wide range of aspects, ranging from the inspection of materials on receipt and process-related analyses (e.g. thickness measurements, structural analysis and analysis of mechanical properties) to the preparation of comprehensive reports.

03
Additive manufacturing – L-PBF and LMD

We have a variety of powder bed equipment, including a machine for processing copper using a green laser.
An LMD (powder nozzle) system complements this innovative machinery and enables additional areas of application such as coatings and layers to the existing material as well as to perform repairs and create joints.

04
Heat treatment

In order to reduce tension in the components (stress relief annealing/ solution annealing) and obtain the required material properties (mechanical properties, hardness and microstructure), we carry out heat treatment – in a chamber, convenction or vacuum furnace, depending on the project`s specific requirements.

05
Further processing / finishing

Automated and complete depowdering, separation of components and removal of support structures, creation of surface finishes for visually and technically flawless surfaces in accordance with customer specifications, quality assurance to support processes, machining further processing.

06
Quality assurance

Depending on our customer’s requirements, we may perform tactile and optical measuring in our in-house quality assurance department. In our lab, we not only analyse the powder used, but also inspect the properties of additively manufactured test pieces, as these are representative of the subsequently produced components. Here we work with static and dynamic test benches, among other things.

Insights

As pioneers, we work with our partners to set new processing standards and conduct groundbreaking projects to make advancements in additive manufacturing. Find out more!

Additive Manufacturing –
Key technology of the future. 

Convincing: How you as our customer can take advantage of additive manufacturing

Greater freedom of design.

  • Even the most complex geometries are possible.

Broader range of applications.

  • Also suitable for materials that are hard to machine.

Versatile technology.

  • Besides being used in laser powder bed fusion, the powder nozzle can repair defective components, apply coatings and wear protection, and produce hybrid structures.

Clear time and resource savings.

  • Parts manufactured within a few days, no need for tooling.

Profitability.

  • Weight reduction by means of FEM calculations and topology optimisation.

Innovation potential.

  • As your partner in research and development, we open new perspectives and market opportunities for you.

Verified quality.

  • Analysis of materials and additively manufactured samples (micrograph analysis, tensile strength testing, microstructure analyses, fatigue testing etc.)

Versatile material base – Mechanical strength, heat resistance, bio-compatibility, ...: When selecting the right material for laser sintering, we match our material and manufacturing expertise to your requirements. Metals we currently process include:

L-PBF

  • Aluminium alloys, such as AlSi10Mg, Scalmalloy®
  • Titanium alloys, such as TiAl6V4
  • Nickel-based alloys, such as Inconel® 718, Inconel® 625, Haynes® 282®
  • Tool steels and stainless heat-resistant steels, such as 1.4404 und 1.2709
  • Pure copper and copper alloys, such as CuCr1Zr

LMD

  • Aluminum alloys, such as AlSi10Mg, AlSi12
  • Nickel-based alloys, such as Inconel® 718, Inconel® 625
  • Cobalt-based alloys, such as Stellite
  • Iron-based alloys, such as tool steels, hot work steels, stainless steels
  • Copper alloys, such as bronze
  • WC/TiC matrix alloys

Media library

Gain a direct insight into what we can do for you.

3D-printed injection moulding tool realized in cooperation with Siemens NX

Komplette Prozesskette im 3D-Druck in Metall mit Siemens NX

Case Studies

Examples of our work – clearly organised for your reading pleasure

Uncover your potential for innovation.

Your Pace makers for additive manufacturing

As your research and development partner, we can help you explore new avenues of business and market opportunities. Find out more about Cross-Dimensional Manufacturing, our unique consulting and manufacturing standard.

Challenge us to help you with your projects today! 

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Phone +49 9172 6956-0

Stefan Auernhammer

Business Unit Manager Additive Manufacturing

Uwe Schulmeister

Business Unit Manager Additive Manufacturing