Realignment of additive manufacturing for complex housings

Initial situation: 
Our customer was faced with the challenge of producing a highly complex housing that had extremely demanding integration requirements for tool-free additive manufacturing.

The requirements included precision of 0.02mm in the CNC milling of all functional surfaces as well as ensuring media tightness and dimensional accuracy of the fits and flange surfaces. The project included the development of an integrated lubrication and cooling concept for a highly complex system.

The biggest challenges were ensuring the media tightness of the housing and the exact dimensional accuracy of the fits and flange surfaces. These aspects were crucial for the functionality of the end product and required innovative solutions.

Solution approach: 
Based on the CAD design provided by the customer, our team at Robert Hofmann took on the responsibility of defining an optimized and detailed product design in every detail. The focus here was on developing a design that could be realized using the 3D printing process. By working closely with the customer, we were able to implement the design requirements precisely and at the same time make optimum use of the possibilities of the additive manufacturing process.

The implementation of our innovative solution produced impressive results. Firstly, we were able to achieve a weight reduction of at least 10% (4-5 kg) compared to conventional production.

This resulted from the precise optimization of the housing design and the intelligent use of lightweight structures. Secondly, our work led to a significant increase in rigidity in certain areas of the housing by 100%. This improvement was crucial in ensuring the structural integrity of the final product.

In addition, additive manufacturing using the SLM (Selective Laser Melting) process with AlSi10Mg material and a layer thickness of 75μm saved a total of 12 assembly parts, including covers for cooling channels, oiling measures and adapter parts, as well as 14 screws. Production was carried out using Xline 1000 R equipment and took a total of 167 hours.

The successful implementation of this project has not only expanded the possibilities of additive manufacturing, but also paved the way for future innovations. By eliminating pre-series, it is now possible for our customer to move directly into small series production, which enables significant time and cost savings. In addition, the newly developed housing design has the potential to set standards in terms of lightweight construction and functionality in the industry.

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