Initially, the team attempted to use selective laser melting technology to produce a more powerful design from an AlSi10Mg alloy. They achieved better performance thanks to the complex internal cooling channels, but the new design did not withstand the coolant and the process was quite expensive and difficult to implement.
Markforged’s copper was the perfect solution to the PTZ problem. Their new design included conformal cooling channels that would make the tool cooler extremely efficient. However, this design could not be manufactured conventionally. With this design, PTZ was in an excellent position to implement the idea in high conductivity copper on the Metal X.
The new tool cooler withstands the coolant and cools 38% faster than previous designs. With approximately 40 tool changes per day on two CNC machines, it also saved 111 hours per year. Given the average hourly rate of the machine, this means that PTZ saves around €7,000 a year on machine time alone. Using the most cost effective and high performance materials, Markforged technology was the only logical choice for the tool cooler. The team plans to work with Markforged Copper to develop electrical engineering parts for the automotive industry.
What are the advantages of copper 3D printing?
✅ Very high conductivities
✅ Quickly first prototypes
✅ Significant freedom of design