Page 21 - 3D Metal Printing Fall 2018
P. 21

Yields Efficient
Coolant Nozzles
3D printing enables improved coolant flow and reduced pressure losses.
To unlock the huge opportunities offered by 3D printing, designers need to rethink their approach. Coolant-system specialists at Grindaix are doing exactly that as part of a joint project to develop concepts for printing different nozzles in a single operation on large- scale 3D printers.
The biggest challenge with internal- diameter (ID) cylindrical grinding: limited space between the part and the tool. Accommodating a conventionally pro- duced coolant nozzle that meets all of the requirements is difficult, and in the case of a nozzle’s very small holes often impos- sible. In practice, manufacturers tend to inject carefully the lubri-coolant required for grinding from the outside. That slows the grinding process while posing a risk that not enough coolant will reach the machining site, resulting in higher cycle times and correspondingly reduced pro- ductivity, as well as high scrap rates due to parts suffering thermal damage.
Such scenarios prompted Dirk Friedrich, owner and CEO of Grindaix, to consider 3D printing as a solution. Headquartered in Kerpen, Germany, Grindaix specializes in optimizing and remodeling coolant
By switching its product-development focus to 3D printing, Germany-based Grindaix achieves free-form surfaces for its coolant nozzles.
supply systems for machine tools, and develops solutions for minimizing grind- ing burn and coolant wastage. “We’ve been focusing on 3D printing for a long time,” says Friedrich. “When we looked at the market, we saw very few tailor-made, highly efficient customized nozzles for specific applications in ID cylindrical grinding. We recognized that this new manufacturing technology would be a good choice for making those kinds of nozzles.”
Nothing Is Impossible, But...
In the world of 3D printing, anything seems possible, but engineering expertise must first ensure that what the 3D printer builds up layer by layer will fulfill its pur- pose. This is not easy, as the Grindaix engineers discovered. “We’re used to designing things in the traditional way, with a constant focus on the manufac- turing process,” says Friedrich. “I’m not saying 3D design is alchemy, but it does require a shift in thinking.”

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