CA Models

February 10, 2012

Discipline: Milling
Machine Type: 5-axis
Manufacturer/Model: Hermle C 40 U
Materials: Plastics, composites, aluminium, brass, copper, steels, exotic alloys
Client Type: Subcontractor
Sector: Rapid prototyping, model making

Background

Stirling-based CA Models uses a wide range of additive manufacturing equipment to fulfil its rapid prototyping service, but also needs subtractive metalcutting for producing larger parts and those made from materials that cannot be built layer by layer.

The Challenge

The 5-axis machining capacity on site, including two mill-turns, was struggling to cope with the volume of business and the increased size of components it was being asked to make.

The Solution

A Hermle 5-axis vertical machining centre was acquired through UK agent Geo Kingsbury. With a working envelope of 850 x 700 x 500 mm and a table capacity of 1,400kg, the machine has increased the scope of work that CA Models can undertake.

Outcome

Often, the Hermle is used in continuous 5-axis mode for milling complex 3D surfaces. For the remainder of the time, 3-axis cutting with two axes positioned and clamped allows 5-face machining in a single set-up. The machine shop at CA Models in Stirling also includes 3-axis milling, die-sinking and wire erosion capabilities, supported by nine seats of Delcam and four seats of design/modelling software.

The company decided in favour of the Hermle due to its reputation as the ‘Kilimanjaro’ of 5-axis machines in terms of precision, speed and reliability. A vast range of constantly evolving materials, from plastics and composites to aluminium, brass, copper and steels, including stainless, and also exotic alloys, are machined to tolerances of within 5 microns without any problem.

“The machine is at home in all fields, be it tool and mould making, medical, engineering, aerospace, motorsport, or oil and gas. We purchased the dynamic version of the C 40 U with 60 m/min linear rapids and a 55 rpm trunnion, so it is highly productive as well and a valuable asset for us.”

Clark Campbell, Managing Director.

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