Customized tooling with just a few clicks

Figure 1: The right tool for every job: Different kinds of step drills. (Photo: WOLF Werkzeugtechnologie GmbH)

IFW | With the help of tailored step tools, multi-step holes can be drilled in a single step. This saves time. On the other hand, the tool design is very complex. IFW and specialists from industry are working on an automated solution.

Multi-step drill holes: Every car has plenty of them. For example, they are used to countersink screws in metal: The drill hole’s bottom part for the screw thread has to be narrow, whereas the top part has to be wider for countersinking the screw head.

Up to now, multi-step holes have been drilled by means of several standard drills used one after the other. In contrast, a customized step tool is able to drill holes in a single step – without changing the tool. However, the development of step tools is very complex.

Researchers of the Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools (IFW) want to solve the problem: In the joint research project “FeBast“, they are developing together with two industrial companies a software program for an automated step tool design. With just a few mouse clicks, the design engineer can select from various standard elements and create new tool models.

by Stefan Henning

Image gallery for this article

  • Figure 1: The right tool for every job: Different kinds of step drills. (Photo: WOLF Werkzeugtechnologie GmbH)
  • Figure 2: From parameterization to testing: The process flow of automated tool design. (Chart: IFW)
  • Figure 3: With just a few steps: Software prototype for automated tool design. (Screenshot: IFW)
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