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Star Cutter Expands Tool Offering with 3D-Printing Capability

Star Cutter Co., in alliance with its strategic partner Neher Group, has announced the availability of 3D-printed PCD monoblock tool bodies and chip deflectors in which the 3D-printed bodies are integrated with the holder interface to create a single robust tool.

Posted: June 17, 2021

Star SU/Neher Group 3D-printed tool bodies can help optimize coolant channels for extended tool life and chip control.

According to Star Cutter (Farmington Hills, MI), additive manufacturing is more reliable than traditional manufacturing methods in achieving designs with complex details and effective chip evacuation. This ability to optimize coolant hole and cooling channel locations can improve tool life by 30 percent or more and is well suited to the growing, environmentally-friendly trend of MQL (minimum quantity lubrication).

With 3D printing, there is about a 30 percent reduction in tool weight, yet it has the equivalent torsional stiffness of a steel ground body tool. Lighter weight can play a big role in large, heavy tools that take a toll on the machine spindle, helping to reduce preventative maintenance. These improvements can be significant when producing aerospace and automotive components, including electric vehicle parts, where existing spindle interfaces are not always ideal for some of the size/weight of tools.

Also available are 3D-printed chip deflectors for applications that require total elimination of chips from the workpiece. These deflectors are mounted on the body of the tool so that when the tool is in the cut, the chip has no way to exit except through the flute channel.

The 3D-printer technology is typically applied to large reamers, interpolating and milling cutters.  Star Cutter offers printing in a variety of materials, including plastic, aluminum, titanium, steel, and stainless and sells its cutting tools through Star SU LLC (Hoffman Estates, IL).

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