cross dimensional manufacturing
Pace Maker
for High-End
Precision
Parts

Additive Manufacturing

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.

Layer by layer, high-performance metal powders are melted and precision shaped using a laser to create three-dimensional parts. Depending on the requirements we process aluminium alloys, nickel-based alloys and many others. We then use machining processes to refine the unmachined parts and turn 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.

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

  • Design and manufacturing
  • Post-processing
  • Finishing

The success of 3D metal printing using powder beds relies much more heavily on practical experience in the various stages of the process than any other manufacturing method. The challenges posed by post-processing are often underestimated. toolcraft covers the complete process chain under one roof, rounding it 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
02Simulation
03Materials analysis
04Metal laser melting
05Depowdering
06Quality assurance during the process
07Heat treatment
08Separation from the building panel
09Removal of the supporting structures
10Surface finish
11Machining further processing
12Quality assurance

01
Design

toolcraft designs components or redesigns them using reverse engineering so that they can be produced using metal laser melting. We conduct topology optimisation using the finite element method (FEM) so that we always produce the most favourable basic design.

02
Simulation

Our warpage simulation technology and our expert staff mean we successfully follow the first-time-right principle.

03
Materials analysis

Particle-size distribution, oxygen and nitrogen content are very important factors in additive manufacturing. The toolcraft measuring and testing laboratory guarantees precise answers for reliable component quality.

04
Metal laser melting

The individual part is manufactured by applying material layer by layer. The production part is created directly from 3D CAD data. No machining tools are necessary.

05
Depowdering

Once powder is cleared from around the edges of the components, they are sent for automated depowdering. The objective of this is to clear them of powder for the subsequent processes and for operational safety reasons.

06
Quality assurance during the process

Qualified visual inspectors check the components after the various process steps. Depending on the requirements, optical measurements are also carried out.

07
Heat treatment

In order to reduce tension in the components and obtain the required mechanical properties, degrees of hardness and microstructure, we carry out heat treatment in a chamber, convection or vacuum furnace, or using hot isostatic pressing (HIP), depending on the project’s specific requirements.

08
Separation from the building panel

Depending on the connection and further processing, the component is separated from the building panel manually, by saw or by wire cutting (EDM).

09
Removal of the supporting structures

We remove the supporting structures manually or mechanically and rework the freeform surfaces using machining techniques. Suitable workbenches with active suction are available for this purpose..

10
Surface finish

Depending on requirements, we produce technically and visually flawless surfaces using blasting processes, drag finishing, vibratory finishing, electropolishing, abrasive flow machining or chemical processes.

11
Machining further processing

From device concepts and combinations of turning and milling, to spark erosion using wire cutting or electrical discharge machining, we use our decades of experience in traditional manufacturing methods to refine your components.

12
Quality assurance

Depending on your 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.

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.

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:

  • 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

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