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A 3D printed grade of steel, capable of producing tools that cut titanium, has won a $15 thousand AUD ($10 thousand USD) prize for a PhD candidate at RMIT University, Melbourne. The project, conducted with the Australian Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) and industrial cutting tool supplier Sutton Tools, was led by Jimmy Toton, a postgraduate of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at RMIT. By demonstrating how effective the 3D printed steel is, Toton won Avalon International Airshow’s 2019 Young Defence Innovator Award.
Speaking on the award, Toton tells 3D Printing Industry, “This development can potentially allow for significant improvements in productivity and therefore reduce costs for high value, complex, components in the aerospace and defence industries.”
Toton - Project - Supervision - RMIT - Distinguished
Toton’s project, conducted under the supervision of RMIT Distinguished Professor Milan Brandt, was to effectively process and make tools from a grade of maraging steel via laser metal deposition (LMD). The particular grade in focus was a carbon-free iron, cobalt, molybendum (FeCoMo) based alloy “with properties” Toton explains, “superior to high speed steel (HSS)” which is commonly used to make metal cutting tools. “Specifically,” Toton adds, the FeCoMo-based steel has “a higher hot hardness and resistance to thermal softening,” making it “ideal for the machining of titanium and stainless steel applications.” Though the alloy has a number of attractive properties, it is challenging to 3D print due to crack tendencies.
The work was conducted on a TruLaser Cell 7020 from German machine tool provider TRUMPF. A large, industrial system, the TruLaser Cell 7020 can be configured as...
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