Hybrid Machine Combines Metal Powder Technology with 5-Axis Machining

German machine tool maker Hermle has integrated additive manufacturing capability into its C 40 U five-axis machining center.

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German machine tool maker Hermle has integrated additive manufacturing capability into its C 40 U five-axis machining center. The new MPA 40 machine incorporates the company’s metal powder application (MPA) technology, a thermal spray process based on lower-energy kinetic compacting, or micro-forging. The hybrid machine has a powder application nozzle mounted alongside the vertical milling spindle and a heater built into the fourth/fifth-axis rotary swiveling table.

A production cycle involves clamping an application-specific faceplate onto the rotary table, importing the CAD model of the component to be produced, and converting the 3D data into successive micro-forging and milling cycles, which can be followed by water quenching and heat treatment, if necessary. Finished components can be as large as 550 mm in diameter and 460 mm deep, and weigh as much as 600 kg. 

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