Additive manufacturing (AM) opens up new business opportunities by freeing design from the limitations of traditional manufacturing processes, enabling customization, and speeding up product time-to-market. Together, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd and Nurmi Cylinders Oy have developed a cost-efficient, 3D-printed, reliable hydraulic valve block which is 66% lighter than the original part.
3D printing or AM technology facilitates the production of objects of any shape without the limitations associated with traditional manufacturing methods. Combined with advanced design and optimization techniques, the potential cost-savings of AM extends to the design phase where simulation can reduce the number of necessary design iterations.
A new hydraulic valve block has been developed by VTT and Nurmi Cylinders, with a design that has been optimized to take full advantage of the benefits of 3D printing. The result is a product which is 66% smaller than the original design, leading to savings in weight, space and material. With AM, the internal channels of the valve block can be adjusted to optimize flow and save space, while the potential for leakage is removed because auxiliary drillings are no longer necessary.