Hybrid Machine Enables Milling between Additive Passes

Sodick’s OPM250L combines additive metal manufacturing and high-speed milling into the same workspace, enabling single-process production of finished components.

Sodick’s OPM250L combines additive metal manufacturing and high-speed milling into the same workspace, enabling single-process production of finished components. The machine represents Sodick’s first foray into Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) technology. The OPM250L is primarily aimed at moldmakers, offering the ability to create conformal cooling channels within a finished mold to improve mold performance by reducing cooling time, deformation and cycle time.

Using alternating passes of laser sintering and milling, the OPM250L can machine workpieces before printing is complete. In addition to producing conformal cooling channels, this technology also makes it possible to reduce the number of parts necessary to produce a mold, in some instances reducing a mold from 21 pieces to just one, Sodick says.

Because of the special demands of such a process, the company has developed a dedicated CAM system, Z-Asso, capable of importing CAD data, generating laser and machining data, optimizing cutting along high-load areas and simulating the process to accurately estimate production time. In addition, the machine enables unmanned and remote machining. 

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