Guhring Ltd, Birmingham, UK, a subsidiary of cutting tool manufacturer Guhring Group, has put into production an H13 tool steel milling cutter additively manufactured on the Metal X Additive Manufacturing system, developed by Markforged, Watertown, Massachusetts, USA. The new milling cutter features a uniquely designed infill for increased efficiency, and is said to be 60% lighter and 75% cheaper to produce than its conventionally-manufactured predecessor, allowing for faster tool changes in cycles and a reduction in cycle times.
Guhring UK specialises in the supply of made-to-order carbide and polycrystalline diamond (PCD) cutting tools for leading companies like BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Airbus, and BAE Systems. The company made its initial move into Additive Manufacturing using a Markforged carbon fibre AM machine to produce custom sample parts and replacement parts for its plant. Now, using Markforged’s metal AM system the Metal X, the company is supplying a range of production-grade cutting tool bodies for milling and special-purpose applications.
The Metal X system produces parts using a process Markforged refers to as Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing (ADAM), in which metal powder bound in plastic is deposited a layer at a time to form the part geometry, then debound and sintered. Alan Pearce, PCD Production Supervisor at Guhring UK, commented on using system, “Within five days, we had printed and sintered a fully functional metal cutter body/ Using Markforged 3D printers just speeds up everything.”
“Guhring UK is doing something truly remarkable — they’re using additive to make subtractive processes better,” commented Michael Papish, Vice President of Marketing at Markforged. “This is the first time a company in our space has had a foothold in the specialised and early-stage production tooling market. And instead of just replacing their traditional cutting tool, Guhring has used our additive technology to optimise the weight and interior geometry of the part, thereby creating more efficient tools faster and cheaper.”
“The Metal X removes the traditional design constraints of conventional tool manufacturing while providing the best that additive has to offer,” he added. “The ability to reduce the weight of the part as well as introduce completely new interior features ensures Guhring UK will stay at the cutting edge of tool design.”