Modern Machine Shop

MAR 2017

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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72 MMS March 2017 mmsonline.com FEATURE Does additive manu- facturing belong in a machining business? The owners of Imperial argue that this is the ideal place for the capability. Machine shops already understand the quality needs of manufacturing, and almost every critical metal part made addi- tively includes features in need of machining. On this 3D-printed part, for example, a critical feature is the flatness of the upper surface. sitting at a desk near him working with Impe- rial on a different component. Mr. Joest says this kind of internal word-of-mouth remains the company's best means of advancing its AM capability, as one success frequently leads to the opportunity for another success with the same organization. • Converging features. One final com- ponent reinvented for additive involves dozens of nozzles each extending from the part at a different angle, all of them aiming toward a common focal point. Mr. Joest and the Imperial staff have been given particularly little insight into the end use of this part; they were simply asked to participate in improv- ing it through additive. A previous version of the par t was an assembly in which holes were drilled at the various angles and the nozzles were screwed in. The 3D-printed version eliminates the assembly, but it does not eliminate the multi-angle machining. In fact, the machining actually becomes more challenging in the additive version, because the external features of the 3D-printed nozzle forms all had to be machined at dif ferent angles to attain their final tolerances. Part of succeeding with additive in this case was confronting and overcoming this five-axis

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