Researchers from Fraunhofer are co-operating to investigate how laser powder bed fusion can be used to additively produce cutting tools with longer tool life. Tungsten carbide-cobalt is an excellent material for cutting tools as it is extremely heat- and wear-resistant. In the new research project “Additive Manufacturing of Machining Tools out of WC-Co — AM of WC-Co”, scientists from the Institute for Materials Applications in Mechanical Engineering IWM and the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL of RWTH Aachen University as well as from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are now investigating how laser powder bed fusion can be used to process this material. It aims to additively produce cutting tools that achieve longer tool life thanks to complex cooling geometries. Until now, cutting tools made of tungsten carbide-cobalt (WC-Co) could only be manufactured using complex sintering processes. Since these materials are so strong, on the one hand, and since the sintering technology only offer restricted geometrical freedom, on the other, cutting tools can only be shaped to a limited extent. This makes introducing complex cooling structures in...