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With 25,000 3d Printing Parts Per Year, the Engineering Company Provides Flexible Small Batch Production Services for Manufacturing Enterprises

With 25,000 3d Printing Parts Per Year, the Engineering Company Provides Flexible Small Batch Production Services for Manufacturing Enterprises

Kwikbolt specializes in the design and production of single-face time fasteners for aerospace and defense industries, and is one of the few companies in the world to produce specific temporary fasteners. These fasteners are used for aircraft assembly and are designed to align the panels and fuselages of the aircraft so that aerospace companies can complete the assembly without using custom tools for each panel.

Frazer-Nash produces custom fasteners for Kwikbolt through the latest Renishaw AM 400 electoral laser melting 3D printing device. Frazer-Nash can produce customized components according to the requirements of each Kwikbolt Aerospace customer by adding material manufacturing process, and the cost and delivery time are more advantageous than the traditional processing process.

According to market research for 3D Science Valley, Frazer-Nash installed its first electoral laser melting 3D printing device from Renishaw in 2014. Frazer-Nash and Renishao have been cooperating on augmentation manufacturing solutions. Frazer-Nash now produces 25,000 3D printing parts a year and expands the range of applications.

Frazer-Nash used Renishaw AM 250, the first 3D printing device, to produce customized extrusion heads for food industry customers. This unique extrusion head is used in a specific food production process, which requires both materials to be extruded simultaneously. In the co-extrusion process, the thin-walled structure between the two channels of the nozzle is also needed to avoid the defect of the final product. The wall of the nozzle is only 0.4 mm thick and the tolerance is 0.04 mm. The thin wall of the cavity also forms a thermal barrier between the two materials before the material is extruded, which reduces the heat transfer that may damage the final product quality.

Previously, the extrusion head was manufactured by traditional machining technology, and the internal cavity was welded by two parts. Because of the minimal size tolerance requirements, this poses a great challenge to machining and welding. The two components of the extrusion head are S162D martensitic steel. The geometric shape which seems simple but not easy to process requires complex clamping process and NC machine programming. After machining, WEDM process is also needed, and then sent to dimension tolerance inspection. After passing the inspection, heat treatment, vacuum brazing and final dimension tolerance inspection are carried out.

Frazer Nash achieves higher cost-effectiveness by using metal 3D printing technology to produce small batches of extruders at faster speed and lower cost.

In the past few years, 3D Science Valley has not only seen manufacturing giants such as Siemens and GE promoting the application of augmented material manufacturing/3D printing technology in the production of complex and high value-added components, but also seen the development of manufacturing enterprises such as Frazer-Nash, bearing manufacturer Bowman and hydraulic manufacturer aidro hydraulics in the field of subdivision manufacturing. They have opened up additional materials manufacturing business. Providing customers with more flexible manufacturing solutions through 3D printing technology seems to be an inevitable choice for these enterprises. Perhaps at present, add-on manufacturing is still a supplement to the traditional manufacturing business of these enterprises. However, more and more enterprises adopt small batch production, rapid iteration to develop new products, and constantly optimize new products by collecting market feedback and trial-and-error and other cheaper ways. Under this trend, they customize for small batches. Production will bring more flexibility to the 3D printing technology and usher in a broader future.

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