Linear Mold & Engineering, specializing in 3D metal printing and the manufacture of innovative, tight-tolerance injection molds, has added wire EDM to its capabilities.
The new Mitsubishi Model MV2400-S wire EDM will serve both the 3D metal printing – Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) and Selected Laser Melting (SLM) – side of the business as well as the mold manufacturing division. Prior to obtaining this capability, Linear sub-contracted this work, or cut the parts from the base plate on which parts are built using a manual saw, said Mike Misener, General Manager for Linear.
“Performing the cutting manually means that the parts also required a manual post-finishing process to clean the part,” explained Misener. “The wire EDM cuts through the various metals we use regardless of the hardness of the material, leaving a clean, high-quality finish. And it reduces or in some cases eliminates post finishing.”
The 3D printing process is growing as demand for more end-use parts for the aerospace, automotive and medical markets increases. “The wire EDM will help us increase our efficiencies, reduce our build time and improve the overall quality of our sintered metal components,” said Misener. “It also allows us to grow 3D printed parts closer to the plate.”
Linear builds end-use parts as well as mold components such as conformal cooling channels, using the DMLS and SLM processes from a variety of metals including Inconel, Stainless Steel, Cobalt Chrome, Titanium, Aluminum and MS1, a maraging tool steel, having differing levels of hardness. Therefore, the wire EDM will provide efficient, accurate cutting for all types of materials.
Additionally, the wire EDM will allow Linear to cut up to six plates at one time virtually unmanned. And the Mitsubishi MV2400-S cuts within +/- 0.002 inch, and employs a range of high-tech features such as automatic wire feeding, user-friendly controls and internal software capable of accurately calculating machine hours needed to do specific jobs to improve job scheduling.