Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

3DTTool Report Summary

Project ID: 729290

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - 3DTTool (Next Generation of Cutting Tools Using Additive Manufacturing Technology I, Phase 1)

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2016-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Taps are the tools that cut metal and make internal threads in holes. Machine taps, used for producing numerous screw holes, are one of the most common tools used in producing mechanical parts. The process performance is strongly affected by the lubrication efficiency. Current methods of lubricant supply, by either pouring the cutting fluid from outside of the hole or transport the fluid into the hole through the tap, do not effectively deliver cutting fluid to the cutting edges, due to the material and chip surrounding the cutting edges. Inside the holes, if the cutting fluid is released closer to the cutting edges, where the heat and resistance is produced, the cutting speed and tool life will be significantly increased. In addition to machine taps, industries of offshore oil, marine, and wind energy require large hand taps for repair and maintenance work. Field workers need to carry heavy and chunky hand taps, weighing up to 10 kg, to towers exposed to harsh environment. Reducing the tool weight can reduce the their stress, thus reducing the risks.
Thürmer aims to develop both kinds of taps with the latest additive manufacturing (also mentioned as 3D-printing). The technology enables producing complex geometry suitable for highly functional structures. On machine taps, the technical break-through is the innovative cooling and lubricating channels and nozzles that deliver the cutting fluid to the cutting edges, where it is need the most. The importance is not only the economic benefits resulted by the increased cutting speed and tool life, but also the minimized consumption of cutting fluid, which significantly reduces the impact to the environment and worker’s health.
AM is one of the core enabling technology that will upgrade the manufacturing industry towards high-performance, functionality, and environmentally friendly production. The machine tool industry is the sector that has broad impact on other sectors, such as consumer products, general machines, and transportation. We expect the success of the project to disseminate the knowledge and experience of AM adoption to a spectrum of industries, thus maintaining the competitiveness of the European manufacturing industry.

The development of 3D-printed machine taps aims to achieve:
• 100% increase of tool life,
• 20% increase of cutting speed,
• reduced power consumption during material removal,
• reduction of cutting fluid consumption significantly compared to conventional flood cooling
• The goal is a serial production of 200.000 tools/year by 2023.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

This feasibility study assesses the technical, economic, and operational viability of incorporating AM to thread cutting tools. It envisages a product development after which a disruptive technology advances a traditional industry.

The study presents the end-users’ benefits as a value proposition, in aspects of productivity, machine down-time, and cutting fluid reduction. The case study performed at Nissens A/S quantifies these benefits, confirming a 10 times returned value by investing high-quality taps. Together with the environmental advantages and the mass customization possibility, the total value proposed gives sufficient space for the AM-induced extra cost. The study also provides a comprehensive estimation of the eventual production cost, which is under the prices of existing high-end tools.

In the technical assessment, the intellectual property and competitor analysis exposes an accessible path towards the expected performances under the protection of our patent. Moreover, it presents an in-depths investigation of the current status of metal AM technology with focus on material properties, design tools, and existing AM products. The operational assessment and supply chain addresses the key issues of lead time, inventory, and the selection of suppliers. Due to the large investment of an in-house AM facility, the operational assessment also considers the time the purchase takes place during the business development.

At the end, the study outlines the financial prospect, product launch strategy, future business model, and a prospect of Phase 2 development plan.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

AM is one of the core enabling technology that will upgrade the manufacturing industry towards high-performance, functionality, and environmentally friendly production. The machine tool industry is the sector that has broad impact on other sectors, such as consumer products, general machines, and transportation. Both tools in the project have a positive environmental impact. This is with regards to the less volume the grid structure uses of material and the less resources to manufacture the tool, and the fact that the internal cooling channels reduce the amount of cooling fluid required to use the tool compared to traditional tools. At the same time the tool can work faster, so there is an increasing production speed resulting in more effective use of resources.
 
The knowledge generated by the projects are directly transferred to Thürmer’s 3D printing platform where the focus is on learning (teaching) and co-creating. The learning platform focuses on creating awareness, visibility and talent creation within in the scope of additive manufacturing. The co-creating platform focuses sharing the capabilities and processes that are needed for full scale adoption of industrial additive manufacturing as production option for Danish Industry with focus on SME’s 
 
Currently Thürmer is working with two universities and numerous engineering programs focusing on industrial additive manufacturing.  

Thürmer expects the success of the project to disseminate the knowledge and experience of AM adoption to a spectrum of industries, thus maintaining the competitiveness of the European manufacturing industry.

Related information

Record Number: 193048 / Last updated on: 2016-12-16
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