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MULTITASKING

Metal Additive Manufacturing

Metal Additive Manufacturing: Multitasking’s Latest Trend

Derek Korn |

Why are an increasing number of machine tool builders adding additive manufacturing to their equipment’s already versatile machining capabilities? Because additive and subtractive are complementary. 

Laser cladding enables adding material to a very large component

AM processes such as laser cladding have been added to various machining platforms, including turn-mills and five-axis machines. This video shows an example of the former: a WFL M80X Millturn in which the laser head installs into the B-axis milling spindle to add material to a very large component. Laser hardening of select features can be performed, too.

3D printing adds features to a long feedscrew component

This Mazak Integrex i-400S AM uses additive to add features to a long feedscrew component. Its laser deposition head is not mounted in the machine’s B-axis milling spindle. Instead, it installs in a dedicated, pivoting unit.

Printing and machining to completion on the same machine

There might also be need to print a part and machine to completion on the same machine. In this example, a part is printed to near-net-shape on a five-axis DMG MORI Lasertec 125 3D hybrid and then finish-machined.

Hybrid machine starts with a base, additively grows blades

This video shows the production of an Inconel 625 blisk using Autodesk Fusion 360 and PowerMill software on a Mazak Variaxis J-600/5XAM hybrid machine using Seco Tools’ solid carbide and ceramic tools. Rather than starting with a large billet of material that will be machined away to create the blisk, the workpiece starts with the hub and the blades are then additively grown and machined to shape and size.

How do you program a multitasking machine with additive capability?

This lengthy but informative video takes you step-by-step through the programming process for a rotary part with blades created via AM and then subsequently finish-machined using Siemens NX CAM.

Offline Simulation

CGTech’s Vericut additive module simulates both additive and traditional machining (milling or turning) capabilities of hybrid machines using the same NC code. It reads the laser parameters, controls laser wattage, flow of carrier gas, and metallic powder specific to each job and material type, then detects possible collisions between the machine and additive part as it is being printed as is described in this video.