Challenges And Solutions In Metal 3D Printed Parts Machining

- Apr 27, 2018-

Challenges and Solutions in Metal 3D Printed Parts Machining.


3D printing (3DP) is a kind of rapid prototyping technology. It is a technology based on a digital model file and uses a powdery metal or plastic adhesive material to build an object by layer-by-layer printing.


3D printing technology can achieve some complex design solutions. However, if the initial design and manufacturing of additive-manufactured parts did not fully consider the challenges in the subsequent machining, it may cause losses due to failed parts processing.


3D-printed parts usually require machining to achieve precise round holes and smooth, flat surfaces that are then assembled with other parts. However, the complex and lightweight structure of 3D printed parts sometimes cannot be well adapted to the process because of insufficient rigidity. In addition, the complex structure also increases the difficulty of safely clamping the workpiece.


Machining challenges:


1. Is the stiffness of the 3D printed part sufficient to support the load during the machining process? Will the part deviate from the tool and cause vibration, making the tool vibrate and causing poor machining results? If the stiffness of 3D printed parts is not enough to meet the requirements of machining, what solutions can solve these problems?


2. If the stiffness problem is solved, the next challenge is how to align on the machine. 3D printed parts may have some deformation during the printing process, lacking a clear reference, which means that when machining 3D printed parts, you need to first find the “good” part of the part. It is very important to get the optimal 5-axis alignment of the part.




Step 1 - Establish the desired cutting force

First, experiments were conducted to evaluate whether 3D printed parts had sufficient stiffness for machining.


Step 2 - Simulate Cutting Force


Step 3 - Initial Cutting Test

If the machine is machined in the above situation, it will encounter the problem that the part deviates from the tool and rebounds, the surface generates vibration, and the tool vibrates. As a result of these problems, poor surface finish results.


The solution to these problems is to increase the stiffness of the part during the cutting process. There are two steps to increase the stiffness. One is to adjust the design of the 3D printed part and the first is to change the gripping method during the machining process.


Step 4 - Deal with the challenges of machining by changing the design of 3D printed parts


Step 5 - Reconsidering how the parts are mounted


Step 6 - Modeling a Customized Fixture


Step 7 Prepare for machining


Step 8 - Parts Setup


Step 9 - Machining