Kempten, Germany—Sauer Lasertec, part of the DMG group, has announced the sale of an additional four Lasertec 80 PowerDrill machines to a leading European turbine engine manufacturer.

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Major order for laser drilling machines

Kempten, Germany—Sauer Lasertec, part of the DMG group, has announced the sale of an additional four Lasertec 80 PowerDrill machines to a leading European turbine engine manufacturer. This company already owns several other Lasertec drilling systems.

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The Lasertec 80 PowerDrill machines will be used to drill both cylindrical and shaped film cooling holes in cast turbine components. At the recent Symposium on Aerospace Laser Applications (SALA) several speakers, including Friedemann Lell of Sauer Lasertec, described shaped hole drilling applications that are now under development or in production at engine manufacturers' plants.

Shaped holes are typically the exit hole on an aircraft turbine engine blade, where the high temperatures from the engine's enhanced performance cause these components to function in an extremely hot environment. The cooling holes in the blade are round up to the exit where they take a funnel shape with a rectangular or fingernail-shaped exit hole that causes a laminar flow of cooling air over the blade surface. The shaped exit hole increases the cooling ability of a typical cylindrical hole.

The 5-axis Lasertec machines use linear motors and torque motors for high acceleration, up to 1.2g, with the highest accuracy, 0.010mm, and reliability in the industry that enables end users to produce parts with tighter tolerances along with exceptional repeatability.

Features specifically developed for the laser drilling of turbine components such as tactile part probing, hole breakthrough detection, and the sophisticated ‘LaserSoft PowerDrill' software further enhance the machine's capability.

Further details are available from Richard Baxter, product manager, Sauer GmbH, Kempten, Germany, richard.baxter@gildemeister.com.

Elegant dining meets rapid prototyping

Rochester Hills, MI—Fashion designer Kathy Minns is passionate on the subject of a finely set table. So passionate, in fact, that she launched her own business, iSETT, to share her decorating approaches with others. Lately, she's also become passionate about another subject—metalworking, thanks to the work of 3-Dimensional Services.

Located here, the 3-Dimensional Services Group—consisting of 3-Dimensional Services, Urgent Plastic Services, and Urgent Design & Manufacturing—is a prototyping firm that specializes in design, engineering and analysis, in-house tool construction, and complete build of first off parts and low to medium volume production runs. Its use of advanced process methods, manufacturing technologies and years of engineering and machining experience mean that prototypes are typically provided up to 70% faster than conventionally equipped shops are able to offer. Impressive... but what does that have to do with décor and entertaining?

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The iSETT Table Ring, formed of two hollow channels of stamped, laser trimmed, and electrostatically painted 0.5mm carbon steel, was brought from vision to completed, short run part in just two weeks by 3-Dimensional Services.
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The answer to that question begins with the charger, or service plate. These large, heavy, and frequently ornate plates are set on the table and removed from the place settings when the dinner plate arrives. Minns' idea was to replace the charger with a metal ring, but not just any metal ring—the patent-pending iSETT Table Ring. Embodying the sleek elegance of modern industrial design, Minns' ring would be strong yet extremely lightweight and thus easy to use. It would be composed of two halves, keeping the weight down and making it easy to store. It would also make use of magnets to allow for additional decorative ideas and specialty celebrations. And finally, it would also be hollow so that when it wasn't being used to “frame” a dish it could be flipped over and filled with water to hold fresh cut flowers. The iSETT Table Ring would remain on the table and be used as a decorative piece that frames the dinner plate and can be used to frame the charger plate.

From vision to reality—rapidly

That's what Minns saw in her mind; the question was how to turn this vision into reality. That's where 3-Dimensional Services came in. The fashion designer turned entrepreneur approached the firm seeking their help in turning her vision into reality.

“This was a brand new area for us, having done nothing in the decorating or décor field before,” admits Steve Kelly, senior sales engineer for 3-Dimensional Services.

First came design. Though it was a fairly simple form, like any other industrial or commercial design project it had to be done right. Changes during this phase included increasing the flatness of the top of the table ring in order to ensure that the decorative magnets would remain firmly secured when used. The team at 3-Dimensional worked with Minns on three design reviews before a final, fully functional design, employing 0.5 mm carbon steel, was arrived at.

Next, a model was created using SLA (stereolithography apparatus) whereby a laser beam cures light-sensitive polymers into the shape of the part. The technology produces a solid working model of the design, which is critical for hands-on review of form, fit, and function After design approval 3-Dimensional Services created a stamping tool via CNC machining. The part was then stamped on a 300-ton press, laser trimmed, and electrostatically painted black. A total of 48 pieces was produced, making 24 complete rings. The entire project took two weeks from start to finish.

This initial run of 24 samples is a trial balloon. If they're a hit, Minns plans to make them widely available through kitchen specialty stores and high-end retail outlets. “My goal was to create a fresh, fun approach to setting a dining table with style and ease for any entertaining occasion, and 3-Dimensional Services helped me make that happen,” says Minns. “Working with them was a rewarding experience,” she continues. “They came up with wonderful ideas and creative thinking for the project. I'm certainly not a big player like some of their customers, but 3-Dimensional Services treated my project with the same enthusiasm and professionalism they would have given to larger customers.”

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