Metal additive manufacturing allows metal parts to be built without the need for traditional tooling and with few limitations in geometry. It is complementary to traditional subtractive methods and can be readily integrated into the existing production workspace.
Organizations using metal parts can make a thorough analysis of current product and production lifecycles to reveal gaps where metal additive manufacturing could prove advantageous - in reducing development time, production steps, costs and use of material.
With increasing application of the technology there is potential for metal additive manufacturing to become mainstream and an integral part of every engineer and designer's toolkit.
Mold Cooling and Conformal Cooling Channels
Metal additive manufacturing can be used to help improve production cycle times and productivity in injection molding.
Metal mold tools used for injection molding contain channels to cool the mold. With conventional tool-making methods, these cooling channels are drilled into the tool in straight lines. Metal additive manufacturing allows cooling channels to be designed and built to perfectly contour the mold. This helps to improve cooling performance, extend the life of the mold and reduce waste.
The motor sport industry has adopted metal additive manufacturing to produce customized parts such as cooling ducts.
Speed of turnaround of prototyped parts is key to maintaining a competitive advantage. Functional metal parts can be rapidly produced and performance tested.
Metal additive manufactured parts are used in the aerospace industry for functional parts including engine turbine blades, fuel systems and guide vanes.
The topological optimization of parts can improve functionality and reduce weight. Lighter parts can contribute to a lighter aircraft and greatly reduce fuel consumption.
The medical orthopedic industry benefits from manufacturing complex geometries and structures in high grade materials such as titanium.
Modern 5-axis CNC machines are capable of positioning tools into tight, hard-to-reach places, but there are still features which cannot be accessed by these tools. This isn't the only concern; a feature must have enough strength and rigidity to resist the forces of a milling tool. Failure to account for this can lead to poor quality surfaces, or even damage to the part. These factors may limit the manufacturing of the technician's design to something that only closely resembles what is required, rather than accurately reproducing it. Most often this will lead to manual finishing of the part.
Modern technologies enable us to create both models and secondary tooling in a matter of days or even hours. Prototype models offer the chance to check form, fit, function and also evaluate the new product design visually.
With a wide range of prototype knowledge, using the latest in computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) equipment, ICT, Inc., has the capacity to deliver a fast and cost-effective prototype.
CNC machining plays a key role in creating tooling, such as patterns, core boxes, and finished machined castings.
Our casting and machining can be verified using CMM to your print or a direct overlay to the CAD file.
Walk next door, and you can see efficient low-volume production in ICT's Dualtech Foundry.
Together, ICT and Dualtech can accelerate your product development cycles, which reduces time to market. Our foundry houses a complete in-house laboratory for verification of chemical and mechanical properties and microstructures along with a complete dimensional casting layout report.