Nikon Corporation Advanced Manufacturing Business Unit
Nikon Corporation Next Generation Project Division

Function-adding modeling

Nikon’s metal 3D printer can apply a coating to a metal surface using a hard material (such as high speed steel) to, for example, improve wear resistance or form metal Braille dot characters. This section shows an example of manufacturing to improve wear resistance and form metal Braille dot characters.
Function-adding modeling

Example of applying a metal coating to a metal mold

As a mold is continuously used, its surface gradually wears down due to friction between parts. Mold wear greatly impacts product dimensions so require regular maintenance. In the example below, a 0.5 mm thin coat of high speed steel has been applied to a part of the mold’s surface. It is anticipated that coating the surface of a mold, especially parts that are subject to heavy wear, using a material with high wear resistance will greatly extend the service life of the mold and reduce maintainable costs.
Example of applying a metal coating to a metal mold
Example of applying a thin coating to the U-shaped surface of a metal mold

Example of manufacturing metal Braille dot characters

Braille dot characters, which are generally made using resin can also be manufactured using metal. Braille dot characters made using metal can be used outdoors because wear due to being touched and deterioration over time due to the elements is less likely. The shape of Braille dot characters is optimized (size, roundness) with help from blind people who actually touch them.
Metal Braille dot characters that are resistant to deterioration over time
Example of barrier-free accessibility sign to be installed outdoors. Braille dot characters can be added to signs in various locations such as guide maps and rest rooms so they can be utilized as barrier-free accessibility signs.

Other cases

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