Internal channels and RM
Taking advantage of the geometric freedom of RM processes, it is possible to build complex internal channels including variable cross sections and integration of ribs to improve the flow, heat exchange or other parameters while keeping the stiffness of the part. RM technology is successfully applied within conformal cooling, hydraulic parts and many other fields.
The (Im)possible crossing is a small hydraulic part where two channels cross each other within limited space. Decreasing the thickness of the channels while maintaining the total cross section requires drilling of several parallel channels. The part measures 23x23x5 cm3 and weighs 20 kg.
Released from the standard geometrical constraints, the designer is free to optimize the function of the part. In this case, the pressure loss through the part was optimized via flow simulations.
The optimized design features oval cross sections and ribs, while superfluous bulk material is removed. The resulting part measures 8x8x5 cm3 and weighs only 1 kg.
The optimization of the channels have a dramatic impact on the pressure loss. The optimized part is 4 times better than the traditional design.