Takumi and 3D-Hybrid Team Up on Lower-Cost Hybrid Machining Center


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It wasn’t terribly long ago, it seems, that additive manufacturing (AM) was just in its infancy. Still, it didn’t take very long for machine tool manufacturers to see the potential of hybrid manufacturing, combining 3D printing technology with machining centers for the manufacture of increasingly complex components. As the editor for the product writeup sections of Modern Machine Shop, I’ve seen more and more of these hybrid machines enter the market.

Attendees at the show—particularly those whose shops serve the aerospace industry—would do well to consider the potential capabilities to be gained by as additive manufacturing moves from infancy to adolescence.

Takumi USA’s booth in the South Building would be as good a spot as any to stop and take a look at additive/subtractive machining technology up close. Takumi is partnering with 3D-Hybrid Solutions, a Los Angeles, California-based company, to showcase a metal 3D printing tool within the machine tool maker’s H12 double-column machining center.

According to Karl F. Hranka, founder of 3D-Hybrid Solutions, the result is one of the largest and fastest metal additive systems with full in-process machining capability, according to Karl F. Hranka, founder of 3D-Hybrid Solutions. “With Takumi’s large, double-column machining center and 3D-Hybrid’s economical wire-arc additive tool, we will be breaking new ground in the market for a high-precision, lower-cost metal 3D hybrid machining center,” he says.

3D-Hybrid Solutions makes metal 3D printing heads of different deposition types specifically for use in CNC machines. As such, Takumi says that its H12 double-column machine is the perfect platform on which to integrate the additive process because of its large work envelope and high-speed machining capabilities.

The demonstration in the booth is focused on taking advantage of the machine’s strengths for producing very large, high-precision parts found in the tooling and die/mold industries.

Why hybrid? The partners offer the following value propositions for consolidating an AM tool like 3D-Hybrid’s arc deposition head with a CNC machine tool: 

  • In-process machining of parts in a single setup
  • Simplified management structure and reduced learning curve
  • Greatly reduced barrier to entry for metal AM
  • Repair and salvage applications
  • Just-in-time manufacturing, feeding wire to near-net-shape production
  • Reduced material costs on large parts
  • Multi-material part applications

Production metal 3D-printed parts require post-deposition machining to be joined to mating parts. Acknowledging this fact, 3D-Hybrid Solutions is focused on evolving and advancing directed energy deposition technologies into tools for the CNC environment, Hranka explains. The company offers three metal AM technologies for CNC machines: wire-arc AM, laser metal deposition and cold spray. “Together, these technologies can handle almost any metal AM application and alloy,” says Hranka.