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Marking time

Three recent laser marking advancements have hit the market to improve operations There’s no shortage of ways to identify machined and fabricated metal components. Bag and tag. Adhesive labels. Electrochemical etching. Rubber stamps and an ink pad. For those with a steady hand and good penmanship, there’s always the trusty engraving pen or even a black Sharpie. The problem with each of these methods is that they are either not permanent or are time-consuming, or sometimes both. Imagine the ability to permanently mark part and serial numbers, logos, barcodes and artwork on practically any metal or plastic, and do so in seconds. It’s called a laser marker, and if your… Read More »Marking time

Additive Pioneer David Leigh Looks Ahead at 3D Systems

Kip Hanson of Manufacturing Engineering speaks with David Leigh, CTO at 3D Systems and a pioneer of 3D printing. KIP HANSON, ME: I see that you’re relatively new to 3D Systems but have many years in the additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping space. What do you find most interesting so far about working there? DAVID LEIGH: I’ve been involved with additive manufacturing for more than 30 years now and have met many great people along the way. A number of them work at 3D Systems, so reconnecting with friends and colleagues has been a lot of fun. It’s also been good to connect with Chuck Hull, our company founder, on a more… Read More »Additive Pioneer David Leigh Looks Ahead at 3D Systems

HP Sees Additive Manufacturing as a Shining Light

Guayente Sanmartin of HP talks with Contributing Editor Kip Hanson Kip Hanson, ME: Given the constant change in the 3D printing technology, at least some of which has been driven by HP, when will it become a “mature” industry, thereby coaxing many AM-hesitant manufacturers to invest in equipment? Guayente Sanmartin: The 3D printing industry has proved itself in front of our very eyes during the pandemic as a solution to disrupted supply chains. It was like a shining light in the darkness, helping manufacturers develop, iterate and manufacture goods efficiently and sustainably at a very difficult time. The need to adapt and survive, I believe, is the reason for the energy and… Read More »HP Sees Additive Manufacturing as a Shining Light

Young CEO takes up mantle of ‘responsible manufacturing’

Marie, Capital magazine recently named you as one of Germany’s “Young Elite—Top 40 under 40.” Were you surprised, and how did it make you feel? I was indeed surprised and proud to receive this honor after just one year as CEO. Some might feel that I am too young to lead such a company. And that a tech company needs an engineer at the top. We proved both to be wrong. I was groomed for this role for some years. I have a great team and senior advisers behind me, including my father. While continuing his legacy, I am adding my own strategy for the future. Have you implemented any… Read More »Young CEO takes up mantle of ‘responsible manufacturing’

Riding the Wave

New York manufacturing team develops a low-cost emergency ventilator in three weeks In times of need, manufacturing is driven by a philosophy John Lennon said best, “There are no problems, only solutions.” Today, manufacturers have pivoted to produce the critical supplies and equipment necessary to battle COVID-19 at a rate never seen before. SME’s Humans of Manufacturing Heroes Edition tells the stories of the teams, companies and partnerships adapting to produce the tools needed to fight this global pandemic. Going behind the scenes to share how these once-in-a-lifetime transformations are happening and the people making it all possible. Driving into work one Tuesday morning in late March, Charles Boyce grew… Read More »Riding the Wave

Grinding Strategies Go from Good to Great

Maybe your company specializes in aerospace or medical components, and you need to produce complex geometries in metals too tough to cut via conventional machining methods. Or maybe you work in or own a tool and cutter shop, and are looking for faster, more cost-effective ways to produce drills, end mills, and form tools. Whatever the reason, and whatever the requirement, you’re in luck. As with most metalworking technologies, grinding—more properly called abrasive machining—has improved greatly in recent years. How so? For starters, grinding wheel manufacturers have developed new bonds and superabrasivesthat clearly deserve the title “super,” capable of removing more material in less time than ever before. And grinding… Read More »Grinding Strategies Go from Good to Great

Titanium: Son of the Earth

As strong as steel but half the weight, titanium is a favorite among aircraft builders. Part 1 of a 3-part series on the history of titanium, its many uses, and how to machine this important metal. Part 2, to run in Aerospace Manufacturing and Design’s April-May issue, will discuss best practices in titanium machining.  What would the world do without titanium? Strong yet light, titanium resists corrosion by seawater, making it a logical choice for marine applications and desalination plants. It’s biocompatible, so it can be used in the human body, especially for load-bearing implants such as hip and knee joints. Titanium makes bicycles faster and athletes safer, and helps rockets reach… Read More »Titanium: Son of the Earth

Titanium machining tips

Understanding how cutting tools, feeds and speeds, and tool paths can tame the difficult-to-cut metal. Part 2 of a 3-part series on the history of titanium. Part 1, in the March 2016 issue of AM&D, covered the history of the metal. Part 3, scheduled for the June issue,will discuss machine tools, cutting fluids, fixtures,and toolholders.  Anyone who’s stood in front of a lathe or machining center for any length of time knows titanium is a real bear to cut. It has several properties that make it an excellent choice for aerospace and medical components, but these same attributes may cause rapid wear for tools and nervous breakdowns for machine operators.… Read More »Titanium machining tips

Son of the Earth

The last of a 3-part series on the history of titanium, its many uses, and how to machine this important metal Earlier in this series, we explored the history and uses of titanium, as well as some ways to achieve satisfactory tool life while machining it. Yet even the best cutting tools and toolpaths will fail without a robust way to hold those tools, grip the workpiece securely, and support toolpaths with a solid and accurate machine tool. Being successful with titanium requires all this and more; for example, predictable process control is as important as what equipment and tooling is used.  In this final installment, we’ll put together the… Read More »Son of the Earth

Tilting Tools

Turn mill operators are faced with a bewildering number of tooling choices Tooling up a CNC lathe was once a straightforward exercise. Mount and touch off an 80° diamond for roughing, along with whatever profile of finishing tool you fancy. A groover and threader might be needed, and since most turned parts have holes, a drilling station is called for, along with a boring bar or two to finish the hole. And if the machine has a barfeed, you’d best grab a cutoff tool. Allowing for differences in hole size, groove widths and so on, this basic tool assortment once covered the majority of all turning jobs. Lathe life was… Read More »Tilting Tools