The development and manufacture of prototypes for metal-cutting machining by means of additive manufacturing (AM) is becoming increasingly commonplace in the operations of Seco Tools, a provider of metal cutting technology for indexable milling, solid milling, turning, holemaking, threading and tooling systems. One of the main strengths of this manufacturing method is the possibility of making specialized customer-specific tools and solutions that are difficult to achieve through conventional manufacturing. Above all, AM technology will come into its own when producing tools that must be designed in a special way. This may involve complex geometries or other customizations to customer-specific needs.
Examples of such customizations include making the tools lighter, which improves the vibration-dampening properties, or provide them with better cooling possibilities. “By directing the coolant to hit the cutting edge at just the right place, we can significantly extend the tool's useful life,” said Ingemar Bite, R&D specialist, who believes that AM technology can help shorten lead times. “With AM technology, coolant can be guided to locations that would otherwise have been impossible. AM allows for us to produce geometries that require less manufacturing steps, which often results in shorter lead times and thereby, faster deliveries.”
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