This year, visitors to EMO will have access to a whole separate area devoted to additive manufacturing techniques. Here, TRUMPF will be showcasing its expertise in Laser Metal Fusion (LMF) and Laser Metal Deposition (LMD). The company will be placing its focus not only on machine solutions, but also on informing visitors about the possibilities afforded by additive technologies.
“Users often still have lots of questions about additive manufacturing, and we want to address those using specific examples,” explains Rainer Grünauer, Head of Sales for Additive Manufacturing at TRUMPF. Going by the tagline “Industrial Additive Technologies,” TRUMPF will be showcasing a comprehensive range of components that illustrates the many potential applications of additive manufacturing in industrial production. “Additive techniques are most effective for complex components, while for simple parts conventional technologies will often be entirely adequate,” says Grünauer. “Why not have the best of both worlds by relying on a smart mix?”
Embracing a new approach
TRUMPF experts will be demonstrating how this works in practice using the example of a tool holder that attaches grinding discs in CNC grinding machines. This two-part component used to comprise several brazed cases – a potential weak point that negatively impacts service life. Now, a new additive manufacturing design strategy has eliminated this weak point: there is now a conventionally manufactured preform anchored in the tool holder, from which additive manufacturing is used to build up the top part, layer by layer, using powder deposition. Thanks to the design freedom afforded by the additive manufacturing technique, the component is lighter and can be produced using much less material. It also has geometrically optimized wall thickness for optimal distribution of pressure. By designing the component to suit additive manufacturing techniques, it does not require any support structures – which reduces post-processing time. This example goes to show that the challenge of additive techniques lies in thinking and designing with the technique in mind from the outset. In contrast to conventional techniques, it is not about observing limits that dictate the manufacturing process, but about overcoming the barriers in one’s own thinking. Now, form follows function. “With this new design freedom, users have to learn how best to complement their existing manufacturing processes, in the places where it makes sense. That’s where we come in,” says Grünauer.
Everything from a single source
At EMO, TRUMPF will also be showcasing machine solutions for the production of 3D printed components. The TruPrint 100 is a compact and universally applicable LMF system capable of cost-effectively producing components of up to 100 millimeters in diameter and 100 millimeters in height. The TruPrint 3000, meanwhile, is fully focused on the industrialization of additive manufacturing. It is equipped with a 500 watt TRUMPF laser and can produce components of up to 300 millimeters in diameter and 400 millimeters in height. In the spirit of Industry 4.0, it also takes into account both upstream and downstream operations. For instance, the process chain includes the preparation of data for production orders and monitoring solutions during production as well as industrial-grade peripherals for component and powder management.
People at EMO will also have the chance to learn about the TRUMPF solutions in Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) – and see this innovation live in action at machine manufacturer Okuma’s booth across the aisle. In this additive manufacturing technique, the laser generates a molten pool on the surface of the component, to which metal powder is added via a nozzle. This creates fused links that generate structures on existing substrates or even entire components. While LMD was first used primarily to apply protective coatings and to repair components, today it is also used to manufacture entirely new components.
“We offer our customers a complete package of robust machines, smart digitalization products and clever services. This expertise across the entire value chain is what we will be demonstrating at EMO,” says Grünauer. Visitors to the trade fair will be able to learn more about the entire TRUMPF portfolio of machine tools and laser technology, as well as TruConnect, the TRUMPF solutions for Industry 4.0. There will also be opportunities to learn about the wide range of services on finance, such as tailored financing solutions for an easy start with additive manufacturing. The wide-ranging expertise from TRUMPF across all manufacturing techniques makes it a valuable partner, whom customers can rely on to methodically and profitably integrate new technologies into their production processes.