Chamfering Machine Tool
Massachusetts, United States
Onyx, Continuous Carbon Fiber
Tooling and Fixtures
H.C. Starck High Performance Metal Solutions is a century-old business built on a strong foundation of material expertise. Today, they specialize in fabricating refractory metals like pure tantalum, niobium, tungsten, and molybdenum for the semiconductor, and aerospace industries. These metals are notoriously difficult to work with and require custom tooling. Niobium, for example, is a soft and abrasive material and has few documented best practices for CNC machining. H.C. Starck produces precise niobium parts by using custom tooling — however, tooling for a single job often takes four weeks or longer and costs hundreds of dollars.
H.C. Starck was intrigued by the possibility of printing continuous carbon fiber reinforced tools for machining refractory metals. They found that Markforged 3D printed tools had the rigidity and accuracy necessary to deliver quality end parts. This one-off tool holder for a chamfering machine took eight hours and cost just $26 dollars, far faster and cheaper than traditional methods. As a result, they were able to quickly iterate and test several part configurations to optimize its performance. With Markforged 3D printed tools, H.C. Starck is delivering higher quality end-use parts faster and at lower cost.