Video: 3D-Printed Brackets Are Key to Automated Coolant Delivery for Lights-Out Machining

An on-site look at the different elements of the coolant-delivery system developed by a machine shop committed to running unattended.


Precision Tool Technologies of Brainerd, Minnesota, is a contract machine shop dedicated to lights-out machining. It runs unattended not only through nights but also all the way through weekends. As this article describes, one of the challenges of that long lights-out operation is coolant. How can coolant levels be replenished in the machines reliably when no one is around?

This video filmed at Precision Tool looks at the elements of the solution for automated coolant delivery this shop developed. Behind me as the video opens is a system of valves linked to a central reservoir of coolant and linked to every machine that runs lights-out. Liquid level sensors at every machine serve to control this system, triggering replacement coolant whenever a level drops. As I show here, 3D-printed brackets are a simple but essential element for making this system work.

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