Cincinnati Inc. (CI; Harrison, OH) will showcase a new productive link between metal fabrication and additive manufacturing at FABTECH 2018, coming to Atlanta, GA, on Nov. 6 to 8. A trio of 3D-printed press-brake process enhancements will be on display and demonstrated at CI’s booth, B5543, in the Additive Pavilion.
The three 3D-printed enhancements are upper and lower air-bend tooling, back gauge fingers and an inspection gauge.
Printing standard American-style upper and lower air-bend tooling is particularly useful for specialized jobs, prototyping or short production runs, because it eliminates associated engineering and production tasks that cause delays in getting these types of jobs up and running in a timely manner.
Many parts have complex shapes and contours, and there can be challenges and delays in properly and securely gauging them. With specialized 3D-printed fingers, these challenges are eliminated as difficult parts are gauged in a fast, simplified manner.
With 3D-printed inspection fixtures, all facets of a formed part can be checked at once, dramatically reducing the time spent measuring. This is especially ideal for longer parts that require multiple check points, or for cross sections with shallow bends.
PLA, a milk-based plastic that offers an environmental benefit, is used to print these parts. Prototype fabricators working in 12-gauge or thinner materials are ideal for this new technology, as are fabricators forming smaller specialty parts.
“We have been working with additive and press-brake tooling since 2014, improving the effectiveness of forming with 3D-printed pieces,” said Mark Watson, CI Senior Product Specialist of Vertical Motion Products. “We have heard for years that you can’t find the hook that connects additive and fabrication, so we’re excited to visit Atlanta and, hopefully, start to change some minds.
“This is very much a design tool,” added Watson. "Perhaps what we’re most excited about are all the new fabrication possibilities this can unlock for our customers. It will be a light-bulb moment at the show.”