Schaeffler uses generative manufacturing with plastic 3D printers and the powder bed technology for prototype construction, small series production and tool and fixtures construction. In its latest project with DMG MORI, the engineering teams are developing additive manufacturing processes for rolling bearing components made of graded materials in small batch sizes using laser deposition welding. The LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid from DMG MORI has served here as the mechanical basis since May 2017.
Schaeffler is expanding its in-house area of additive manufacturing to include the powder bed process with the LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid from DMG MORI, which it uses for the production of components made of metallic materials. The high build-up rate and high degree of flexibility of materials significantly influenced the decision. In addition integrated 5-axis simultaneous machining enables the production of components in finished part quality in a single setup, a feature in which Schaeffer sees potential for serial production.
Added value through graded materials
The LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid is equipped with two powder feeders and enables targeted control of the changeover from one material to another during laser deposition welding. This results in graded materials with a smooth transition between the different material properties. The toughness and hardness of the material can be regulated in the build-up process and optimally aligned to the specific requirements of the individual application.
Schaeffler and DMG MORI are testing suitable materials in the project, with the aim of advancing the development of additively manufactured rolling bearing components in small batch sizes using laser deposition welding.
The use of material gradation here on the LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid results in exciting opportunities for development. Magnetic and non-magnetic materials could, for example, be combined through gradation and the properties adjusted to the component as required.
DMG MORI USA