Vibrations Prevented During Milling
Generally, metallic components manufactured additively in a selective laser melting (SLM) process are designed to have larger-than-usual oversize to allow for the functional surfaces to be finished in milling operations, since this is the only way of ensuring that all of the surface tolerances and quality requirements can be met. Thin-walled parts are particularly prone to vibration in the course of the machining and material removal operations resulting either in poor surface quality or even rendering the components unusable.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT) in Aachen are expanding the design of components manufactured in additive processes, to include support structures which increase the stiffness of the susceptible areas and reduce vibrations. These supporting elements can be easily removed in the course of the surface finishing operation. Therefore, parts stabilised in this way can be manufactured to a higher quality in less time and with a lower level of tool wear. The Fraunhofer Institute, which first unveiled the new concept for additive and cutting finishing in July at the Farnborough International Airshow, is offering companies interested in becoming project partners the opportunity to collaborate in exploring and developing new support structure geometries.