How 3D-printing and titanium became game-changers for lightweight CoroMill® 390
When Sandvik Coromant wanted to add a lightweight mill to their CoroMill® 390 family, they turned to the 3D-printing and material experts at Sandvik Additive Manufacturing. The collaboration resulted in a game-changing solution which really demonstrates the opportunities with additive manufacturing. By reinventing the design and printing in titanium powder, the weight could be reduced by 80%, while increasing the productivity of the new mill by 50-200%. This is the story of how titanium became a game-changer in the area of tooling, thanks to additive manufacturing.
It is well-known that titanium often is difficult to machine and costly at that. The good news is that it has proven easier to print. Additive manufacturing is opening up the use of alternative materials in different applications, in completely new ways. Titanium is an excellent example of this – a material that also has the advantage of making components much lighter. The launch of titanium powders for additive manufacturing supports a growing trend towards 3D printing of titanium parts, especially in aerospace and medical. It also supports the shift towards sustainable manufacturing, since the additive process results in far less material waste than traditional subtractive techniques – while also encouraging new levels of design freedom and lighter components.
“All together, this means that the benefits of additive manufacturing are now also opening up the use of titanium in other industries than aerospace and medical – such as automotive and tooling. Sandvik Coromant’s Lightweight CoroMill® 390 is an excellent proof of the latter, where the additive version of the mill is more than 80% lighter and up to 200% more productive than the traditional alternatives”, says Mikael Schuisky, PhD and Business Unit Manager at Sandvik Additive Manufacturing.
CoroMill® 390 is a versatile industrial system with cutter versions for shoulder milling and long edge milling. The development of the additive version of CoroMill® 390 has been like an evolution. New design versions have continuously evolved and developed into something quite different from what Sandvik Coromant and Sandvik Additive Manufacturing’s team of 3D-printing and material experts expected when the project started.
Game-changing productivity improvements
To reduce weight and consequently the level of vibration caused by milling with long overhangs, the mill was topologically optimized and re-designed for additive manufacturing. This forced the project team to change the material from a conventional tool steel into Sandvik’s maraging steel, Osprey® 18Ni300, which is tailor-made for additive manufacturing and in this case also optimized for the powder bed fusion laser process used. To further reduce the weight of the mill, it was finally decided to switch to a titanium alloy, also optimized for the powder bed fusion laser printing technology.
With the new lightweight version of CoroMill® 390, produced in titanium with additive manufacturing, the weight of the cutter body is reduced by 80%.
This video demonstration shows the effect in increased productivity by using the additive version of CoroMill® 390 cutter, in combination with Silent Tools™.
As a consequence, the mill cutter body weight was reduced by more than 80%, without compromising strength. Bringing down the weight at the end of the milling assembly significantly reduces vibration in the system. In the case with the new CoroMill® 390, the precision lightweight design limits vibration and smooths cutting performance – increasing customer productivity by 50-200%.
“With the new lightweight CoroMill® 390, produced with additive manufacturing, the weight of the cutter body is reduced by 80%. Combined with the new Silent Tools™ milling adaptors, this is an exceptional tooling combination for slender tooling. The solution limits the vibration tendencies and enables high productivity and good process security in demanding applications”, says Matts Westin, Global Product Application Manager for Milling at Sandvik Coromant.
Close collaboration between experts the key to success
The combination of Sandvik Coromant’s leading expertise in metal cutting and Sandvik Additive Manufacturing’s expertise in metal powder, materials and 3D-printing enabled astonishing results in this project.
“Lightweight CoroMill® 390 is a great example of how we work closely with our customers to develop the most optimal material and design solutions for the end-application. In this case – thanks to Sandvik Coromant’s leading expertise in metal cutting and our expertise in additive manufacturing and metal powder, we iteratively improved, tested and truly re-invented this product. The end result is a solution that delivers significant productivity benefits to the end-customers”, says Mikael Schuisky.
New state-of-the art titanium powder plant in Sweden
With more than 150 years of leading materials expertise and more than 40 years of experience of powder atomization, Sandvik has recently launched a new titanium powder plant in Sweden – to support the growing trend towards 3D-printing of titanium parts, and the shift towards sustainable manufacturing.
“Establishing a plant that employs state-of-the-art technology with high levels of automation ensures that our Osprey® titanium powder can contribute to this type of highly advanced additive applications through high levels of durability, increased consistency as well as the lightweight the material offers – meaning it can also help minimize the environmental impact”, says Peter Harlin, PhD, Research Leader and Sales Development at Sandvik Additive Manufacturing.
Our new range of Osprey® titanium powders can be a true game-changer for the implementation of additively manufactured applications in a variety of industries.
“We recently launched our new range of Osprey® titanium powders, which are optimized for additive manufacturing, and ensures excellent results thanks to its tailored particle size distribution and high purity. This has the potential of being a true game-changer for the implementation of additively manufactured applications in a variety ofindustries ”, Peter Harlin concludes.
Optimized design, 80% lower weight and up to 200% increased productivity.
Per Viklund, Johan Lindström, Einar Leo Ottesen and Anna Nordstrand
Titanium alloy, Osprey® Ti6Al4V
Powder Bed Fusion Laser
Heat treatment and machining