MoldMaking Technology

SEP 2018

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Page 18 of 67 17 dedicated EDM products specifically with the capacity and fea- tures needed for 3D post processing, making it much easier to finish 3D molds once they have been printed." Finally, Pat Crownhart, Product Manager at MC Machinery Systems Inc. (Elk Grove Village, Illinois), says that many mold- makers are working with aging sinker EDM technologies that make producing high-accuracy work a challenge. "If you can maintain speed and reduce wear it is a big efficiency win, not to mention cost reducer, for moldmak- ers," he says. "To alleviate this problem, we have added completely new machine circuitry that limits damage to the electrode with each discharge. When it takes millions of sparks to complete a mold cavity, preventing damage to the electrode with each discharge means the most difficult burns will see the greatest efficiency increase because you are mak- ing fewer electrodes." New Machining Advantages Tom Houle of Matsuura Machinery USA Inc. says that the emergence of cost-down, high-quality and automated five-axis machining has helped the moldmaker become more competitive while achieving higher accuracy. "These 'self-contained factories,' with high- capacity tool changers (that can change at least 330 tools) and pallet pools (that have 32 pallets) added days of unat- tended and reliable five-axis production," he says. "With the aid of five-axis machines, we can machine more of the part without the use of EDM electrodes, jig grinding and hand polishing," Dale Mickelson, Yasda product manager for Methods Machine Tools Inc. (Sudbury, Massachusetts), says. "The materials that are molded today, like silicon, flow like water and require better than 0.0002- inch accuracies on shut-offs. Dies made to cut thinner and more exotic materi- als also require better than 0.0002-inch accuracy on the cutting edge," he says. "Methods imports some of the most accurate machines in the world that can achieve 0.00002-inch accuracies and the ability to cut 92-HRC carbide dies using cutters with special diamond coatings and advanced geometries." Michael Cope says that Hurco Companies Inc. has designed a line of bridge-style machine tools that are more thermally stable for moldmaking and will help reduce the problems that exist from the build-up of heat that is present in a traditional C-frame machine because of the faster feed rates and spindle speeds associated with high-speed machining. "In addition to machine- tool design, offering machines with higher-rpm spindles, faster acceleration and deceleration and the dual contact type of 4930 S. Lapeer Rd. • Orion Twp., MI 48359 U.S.A. Phone: (586) 573-9450 • Fax: (586) 573-9451 Sales Inquiries Welcome Manufacturing versatility, engineering expertise and outstanding service support empower all areas of Millstar to deliver the precise cutting tool solution for any job in every market. • Latest in profile and contour milling technology • Shorter machining and lead times • Higher machining accuracy and true contouring results No matter what market you're in, you can count on Millstar's quality, precision cutting tool solutions to meet performance expectations. Contact Millstar today. Accomplished to Serve Every Market

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