Additive Manufacturing Geometric freedom for complex insert drills

Editor: Barbara Schulz

Germany - The days when precision tools and additive manufacturing strategies could not co-exist are history. Mapal's QTD-series of insert drills proves this point. For the first time, the precision tool specialist manufactures drills additively, with amazing results. Dr. Dirk Sellmer, head of R&D at Mapal, explains the reasons behind this new development.

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The cooling concept with spiral ducts improves cooling performance.
The cooling concept with spiral ducts improves cooling performance.
(Source: Mapal)

Once again, Mapal has emphasised its role as a think tank for high-tech drilling solutions. While searching for new, innovative metalworking solutions, the company has re-invented itself again and again in the 65 years since it was founded in 1950. In this pioneering role, Mapal now relies on additive tool solutions with LaserCUSING systems by Concept Laser.

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High performance, long service lives and rapid tool changes are the central requirements for modern tool concepts. The QTD insert drill excels with good chip deformation and reliable chip removal thanks to its geometry. The insert is held in a stable prism connection. These precision features make high cutting specifications and drill quality possible. Mapal offers four types of the inserts for steel, stainless steel, cast iron and aluminum.

Hybrid strategies the ideal method of choice

The drills have a lot to offer. Additive manufacturing from metal powder using laser melting systems by Concept Laser makes entirely new design approaches possible. The QTD insert drill was previously available in diameters of 13 mm and greater. One reason for this is the coolant supply in the tool body.

The smaller the tool body, the greater the adverse effect the standard central coolant supply on the tool's performance. Central coolant supply weakens the core of the drill and makes it unstable. In addition to this, the cooling channels must be ever smaller. That reduces the flow of coolant to the insert. The new steel tool body design with spiral cooling channels is not usually used for small diameters. The new design now allows even solid drills to be produced in the 8 to 12 mm diameter range.