Pure Copper Inductors Additive Manufacturing

Innovative technology at the service of higher efficiency and productivity.

The Limit: Traditional Inductor Manufacturing

Induction coils for industrial applications suffer from geometrical limitations and their manufacturing could be very complex and operator dependent. This occurs because products are usually realized by manual bending and welding of several standard tubular profiles as well as parts milled from solid material. The areas of maximum thermal exposure and welding joints introduce critical hot spots and reduce the fatigue life limiting the inductor service period. Furthermore, poor geometrical repeatability increases the process setup time. Finally, the geometrical limitations affect the efficiency of the inductor since the ideal geometry will always be subordinate to the traditionally achievable geometry. All these aspects have a negative impact on productivity.

The Innovation: Additive Inductors in Pure Copper

3D Printing of inductors ensures custom and reproducible geometries that cannot be achieved with traditional techniques. Additive technology gives life to seamless inductors with high surface quality and tolerances that fully satisfy the operating requirements of even the most complex geometries. Furthermore, the use of pure copper as a starting raw material ensures high energy and cooling efficiency. Finally, the geometric freedom achievable through additive manufacturing raises the thermal process efficiency as it makes it possible to create the ideal inductor geometry. The combination of these aspects unlocks a new class of induction coils for a new generation of high-efficiency, high-productivity thermal and hardening processes.

Our Offer

Pure Copper Laser Powder Bed Fusion allows the realization of new types of ready-to-use inductors in a matter of 24h, constrained only by the workpiece shape and its desired hardening profile. The inherent flexibility of additive manufacturing allows a virtuous and quick process of continuous improvement of hardening treatment. Simulations of the magnetic field distribution and the heat map become crucial in the design of the ideal inductor and provide the customer with a predetermined parameters operating range, saving time in process tuning. Addtoshape is at the service of customers in designing the final inductor and transforming the digital file into the final 3D printed pure copper product.

Advantages of Additive Inductors

  • Superior hardening curves, now achievable by completely adapting the geometry of the inductor to the characteristics of the workpiece, without constraints of predetermined shapes.
  • Enhanced service life (up to 400%) by optimizing the fluid flow and thus achieving milder, more uniform thermal cycles in the inductor.
  • Increased energy efficiency, thanks to electrical conductivity same as of ETP Copper (100%IACS), without highly resistive welding joints.
  • Tighter tolerances and smoother surfaces than for EBM inductors, for tighter couplings both with the workpiece and the ferrite cores.
  • No weak points such as brazed and welded joints.

Applications of Additive Inductors

  • Crankshafts: compact inductors with high power density and adapted shapes.
  • Gears: Hardening of even the most complex gear tips.
  • Extrusion profiles: repeatable hardness curves.
  • Bearing sites: internal optimization of the hardening profile.
  • Quenching showers: optimization of the distribution of the coolant by integrating it into the inductor itself.

Custom design
and production

Addtoshape offers to the customers
the possibility to produce their own items by using the additive manufacturing,
starting from customer's drawings and requirements.