Guhring UK opted to purchase the Metal X system, as well as a Markforged continuous fiber 3D printer, from Markforged’s UK distributor Mark3D. The 3D printers have allowed the company to manufacture sample parts, replacement parts and prototypes in carbon fiber, as well as functional tooling in metal, with increased efficiency and reduced lead times.
“Guhring UK is doing something truly remarkable — they’re using additive to make subtractive processes better,” commented Michael Papish, VP of Marketing at Markforged. “This is the first time a company in our space has had a foothold in the specialized and early-stage production tooling market.”
“And instead of just replacing their traditional cutting tool, Guhring has used our additive technology to optimize the weight and interior geometry of the part, thereby creating more efficient tools faster and cheaper.”
In addition, Markforged has also announced that it has earned the ISO:27001 security certification for its 3D printers and its cloud-management software, Eiger. An information security standard, the ISO:27001 certification demonstrates that a company is following the recommended practices to ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability of information as well as legal compliance.
3D printing cuts down Guhring UK’s costs by 75 percent
Guhring UK is the Birmingham-based subsidiary of the Guhring Group, a leading manufacturer and supplier of precision cutting tools based in Germany, with a history stretching as far back as 1898. The Guhring Group founded Guhring UK in 1973. Its first subsidiary, Guhring UK was initially established as a sales, stocking and distribution operation, however the subsidiary has since grown into a manufacturing company capable of producing its own precision cutting tools. The company manufactures bespoke cutting and milling tools for the likes of BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Airbus, and BAE Systems.
Guhring UK’s production process for its tooling requires customer approval for the initial design. Often special tooling can take up to eight weeks to design, test, and manufacture in-house, however production can’t begin until the company receives approval on the design. This causes an increase in the costs and lead time for producing special tools, which in turn becomes an issue for the portion of Guhring UK’s customer base that comprises smaller manufacturers with less volume: “As we started looking at supplying smaller volume customers, it became an issue,” explains Alan Pearce, PCD Production Supervisor at Guhring UK.
As such, the company sought a solution in 3D printing in order to make its products and services accessible to a wider variety of businesses by reducing the time and costs of manufacturing. Through Mark3D, the company purchased Markforged Metal X system as well as a Markforged continuous fiber 3D printer for customer samples and plant maintenance. Eventually, Guhring UK moved onto prototyping special tools with the carbon fiber 3D printer, before using the Metal X to produce functional tooling. With the 3D printers, the company has been able to reduce the time and cut the costs of its manufacturing process: “We can now make a one-off production part and supply it to a customer in less than one-third of the time and at a lower cost,” adds Pearce.
Since integrating the Markforged 3D printers within its production workflow, Guhring UK has now supplied a comprehensive range of 3D printed metal cutting tool bodies, for milling and special purpose applications. This includes a basic milling cutter using H13 Tool Steel, which is not only 60 percent lighter than its traditional predecessor, it also saves the company 75 percent in costs compared to the original. With these benefits, Guhring UK has been able to invest back into business in order to supply improved products to its customers.
Companies that have purchased Markforged 3D printers
Markforged’s 3D printers have featured in a number of case studies recently as a number of companies from various industries integrate the technology within their manufacturing processes.
For example, Wärtsilä, a Finnish manufacturer of power sources and other equipment for the marine and energy industries, made the switch to Markforged 3D printers in 2019 to produce composite tools, which are traditionally forged from solid steel. In doing so, the company has been able to reduce the weight of its tools by 75 percent.
The nominations for the 2020 3D Printing Industry Awards are now open. Who do you think should make the shortlists for this year’s show? Have your say now.
Looking for a career in additive manufacturing? Visit 3D Printing Jobs for a selection of roles in the industry.
Featured image shows the engineers at Guhring UK have been able to rapidly prototype cutting tools in composite materials before printing them in metal.. Photo via Markforged.