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November 2023

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Aerospace and EV Segment Gets a Boost with Starrag Investment

As a leading supplier to the aerospace, automotive, appliance, defense, renewable energy and recreation sectors, the 3-Dimensional Services Group is currently witnessing a period of exceptional growth. Fueled by an increasing demand from existing automotive clients moving to EV projects and a surge in new aerospace business, the Rochester Hills, MI-based manufacturer is expanding its machining capacity with a Starrag ECOSPEED F 1540 5-axis machining center.

With seven southeast Michigan facilities across two campuses in Rochester Hills and Lapeer that encompass more than 500,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space, the Starrag ECOSPEED F 1540 will be installed at the 3-Dimensional Services Group's Lapeer campus, which specializes in precision metallic components and assemblies.

Alluding to why the low volume manufacturer is investing in new technology, Chief Strategy Officer Daniel J. Smith said: "The 3-Dimensional Services Group is the most technically advanced job shop in the market. Our customers include the most innovative companies in the world who come to us for production intent parts with incredibly short lead times. We can then quickly scale our expertise and processes to provide a bridge to the start of production. As we look to expand our capabilities to support a wider range of aerospace customers, we will also use these new capabilities to grow our existing electric vehicle parts business-and that is why we have invested in a Starrag machine."

With a multitude of available machine tool suppliers, the 3-Dimensional Services Group conducted a review of the market, and it was Starrag that stood out. Discussing this decision, Smith added: "We pride ourselves on our commitment to investing in the world's leading machine tool brands. If we see capable technology that will create value on our shop floor or deliver greater revenue opportunities, our owner Douglas Peterson will always support the investment to bring those capabilities in-house. When it came to Starrag, the technical characteristics and form factor of the ECOSPEED F 1540 are incredible. We view this investment as an opportunity to acquire a world-class piece of machinery. The extensive feasibility studies we conducted with trial parts at Starrag suggested that for some of the trial parts we currently run, we could cut our cycle times in half. The machine simulations suggest that we will be able to mill aluminum parts nearly twice as fast as we currently are. This magnitude of difference is incredible when you consider that the machines we currently operate are very high-end mills."

Starrag ECOSPEED F 1540 can machine large complex components in the aerospace industry due to its parallel kinematics Sprint Z3 machining head that offers high ?exibility with enhanced rigidity, speed and performance. "Its 1G acceleration and deceleration in all axes enables the ECOSPEED F 1540 to achieve the highest material removal rates in the industry," said a company spokesperson.

With a work envelope in XYZ axes of 169.3" x 63" x 26.4", the ECOSPEED F 1540 is especially suited for accelerating growth at

3-Dimensional Services Group. As Smith noted: "This Starrag machine will allow us to machine aluminum with unparalleled speed and accuracy-as the feasibility studies have proven. We will utilize this machine to mill large aerospace parts as well as stamping tools for parts like EV battery enclosures. We currently run a high mix of low volume parts, which is typical of large structural aerospace parts and also tools and components for the expanding EV industry."

To produce this mix of components, the 3-Dimensional Services Group had a set of criteria for its machine tool selection.

Smith said: "We had a set of KPIs in place when we were looking for a new machine. We needed a machine with a large workspace capacity, a large tool capacity, high speed and feed rates with rapid acceleration-the Starrag ECOSPEED F 1540 ticked all the boxes. We mill a significant amount of aluminum components and tools, and this machine's performance will dramatically improve the cycle times while maintaining high-quality surface finishes that are important to both our customers and us. We want the ability to machine to tight tolerances faster than anyone else in the world. The world-class performance and heavy-duty construction, reliability and service of the Starrag brand will provide this."

Looking at the technical merits of the Starrag ECOSPEED F 1540 and how it ?ts into the strategy of the 3-Dimensional Services Group, Smith concluded: "The performance of this machine is outstanding. It has a 120 kW 30,000 RPM spindle with a maximum feed of 1,968 IPM-this is world-class performance. This will be one of the finest CNC mills in the United States and it will be available to all of our customers."

The Starrag spokesperson added, "With the ability to automatically change angle milling heads plus the end toolholders of the milling heads, and incorporate pallet handling systems and complex FMS systems, the Starrag ECOSPEED F 1540 provides growth opportunities for the future. However, it was features like the heavy-duty HSK A63/80 tool taper with 21 kN clamping force and an 80 position tool magazine (129 tools optional) and the groundbreaking kinematics that deliver a combination of exceptional speed, power and ?exibility on a robust heavy-duty yet nimble construction that sealed the deal for the 3-Dimensional Services Group."

For more information contact:

3-Dimensional Services Group

2547 Product Drive

Rochester Hills, MI 48309


Starrag USA Inc.

Skyport Business Park

2379 Progress Drive

Hebron, KY 41048


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