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3D Printed Tooling

Star SU recently featured a partially-completed finishing mill, revealing the internal cooling channels and other complex features achievable with additive manufacturing (AM). The same 3D printed milling cutter was also shown in its completed state, enabling visitors to handle it and experience the lightweight nature of these tools.

"As compared to traditional manufacturing methods, AM is more reliable in achieving designs with complex details and enhanced chip control," said a company spokesperson. "This ability allows optimization of the coolant hole sizes and cooling channel locations, making it well-suited for the minimum lubrication trend (MQL) while improving tool life by 30% or more. With 3D printed tools there is also about a 30% reduction in tool weight, yet they have the equivalent torsional stiffness of a steel ground body tool."

Reducing tooling weight is especially important when working with large, heavy tools that take a toll on the machine spindle. Lighter tools can add stability to the process and help to reduce preventative maintenance. These improvements can be especially significant when producing aerospace and automotive components, including electric vehicle parts, where existing spindle interfaces are not always ideal for some of the size/weight of tools.

Star SU, with its partner Neher Group, typically applies AM to the production of large reamers, interpolating and milling cutters. Also available are 3D printed chip deflectors for applications that require total elimination of chips from the workpiece. These deflectors are mounted on the body of the tool so that when the tool is in the cut, the chip has no way to exit except through the flute channel.

The company offers printing in a variety of materials, including plastic, aluminum, titanium, steel and stainless. The Star SU engineering team works with all customers to provide the optimal tool design for each application.

For more information contact:

Star SU, LLC Sales & Service

5200 Prairie Stone Parkway, Suite 100

Hoffman Estates, IL 60192


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