Internal channels are used to pass fluids via the structure of a part. For these channels, traditional manufacturing methods allow for straight, cylindrical paths confined to a single plane. Complex work will be difficult or impossible to achieve and incurs hefty costs. Internal channels are used in tooling applications requiring cooling and heat exchangers. Internal cooling channels improves performance, leading to faster cutting rates, shorter cycle times, and longer tool life. In heat exchangers, internal channels produce highly efficient designs with increased surface area, resulting in a faster heat transfer rate.
Internal Channels – a difficult-to-manufacture feature found in parts such as manifolds, heat exchangers and tooling.
Currently, complex internal channels are created by casting or machining two halves of a part and joining them by welding to create an enclosed internal channel. This produces planar channels at the seam of two halves. The part can be further segmented into sections to result in more seams and opportunities for planar channels.
Additive manufacturing allows for non-planar internal channels to be built directly into the part, reducing manufacturing complexity. It also allows for complex conformal cooling channels and complex custom manifolds. DMLS, a dangerous, slow, and high-cost process, is commonly used.
Additive manufacturing allows for non-planar internal channels to be built directly into the part.
With Bound Metal Deposition (BMD), custom parts with complex internal channels can be made easily within a few days at an affordable price. As BMD builds parts layer by layer, it is able to create cost-effective tooling components (such as dies, molds, and cutting tools) with conformal cooling channels, manifolds with entangled internal channels to consolidate size and improve performance, heat exchangers with greater heat transfer rates, and other parts with complex internal channels.
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