Guerin, S. and da Costa, S., "Contribution of 3D Printing in Tooling and Portable Tools Application Case for a Smart Driller," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-2127, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-2127.
The recent contribution rise in 3D printing is rapidly changing the whole industry.In aeronautics, it has 2 major domains of growth: Aircraft partsTooling and portable toolsAircraft parts in metallic 3D printing have been highly publicized in the media, although they represent only a tiny share of the aircraft cell in the short term.On the other hand, metallic (and non-metallic) 3D printing in tooling and tools can bring immediate advantages compared to traditional methods.The advantages: Design made directly for the final functionOptimized for strength vs weightWeight reductionReduction in number of partsShort cycle time from design to useLow cost for customizationThe drawbacks Limited in sizeWe have already applied this new manufacturing technique to obtain real breakthroughs in portable tools.The first and best illustration is our SD2000 Smart drill which has been completely redesigned around 3D printing:This Smart portable drill is fully electrical with embedded 2-axis numerical control. It has a power of 2 kW for a total weight of 2.2 kg and only 4 structural parts, including a customized nose piece. Such result is impossible to achieve without the 3D printing technology.The main body of the SD2000 is a single piece of 3D printed titanium that includes the housing of the spindle, the reference setting, the translation guidance, the feed mechanism, the thermal dissipation surfaces and the chips evacuation circuit. It is capable to apply forces up to 4kN and weighs only 500g!The nose piece can be customized to accommodate for accessibility inside an aeronautic structure; producing different nose pieces with different shapes doesn’t cost more.Other portable tools (fastener delivery systems, screwing devices, …) have been designed, or are currently being designed using all advantages of the 3D printing technology, and bringing to the end user new functionalities, better accessibilities and optimized ergonomics at equivalent or even lower costs.