Multitask or Hybrid?

19-11-18 Manufacturing enhancements

What is Hybrid Manufacturing?

The simplest way to understand hybrid manufacturing is as a combination of additive processes—3D printing, known in the context of production as additive manufacturing (AM)—and subtractive processes, such as milling. While there are plenty of parts being made through some combination of these processes—and more are being introduced all the time—the crucial qualifier for hybrid manufacturing is that both processes occur on the same machine.

A part that is printed on a metal 3D printer, surface machined to improve its finish and separated from its build plate using a wire EDM would be an impressive example of modern manufacturing techniques, but it wouldn’t count as an example of hybrid manufacturing. Consequently, the number of parts produced via hybrid manufacturing may be relatively small. The technology is still relatively new, even for an industry as young as 3D printing.



Hybrid Manufacturing Applications

All talk of technology aside, the eternal question in manufacturing persists: What’s the application?
“Like machining, the applications are diverse: aerospace, medical, mold and die, lots of different things,” Hranka said. “Metal 3D printing is a new technology, and everyone using it is facing the challenge of material qualification. We’re focused on printing very fast and utilizing the strengths of the CNC machine.”

The ability to layer metals and develop new alloys is unquestionably exciting, but that excitement needs to be tempered with a reminder about the onerousness of industry regulation.



Laser multitasking machine combined five-axis machining with a laser head providing both additive and subtractive manufacturing capabilities. It enables complete part production on one machine.

The machine implements laser metal deposition (LMD) technology to provide users with the ability to cut parts of different sizes and shapes. LMD supplies powder from nozzles and performs laser melting and bonding to parent material. This enables the combination of various types of materials, as well as three-dimensional fabrication and cladding. Variable control of laser spot diameters (from 0.4 to 8.5 mm) increases efficiency and resolution, according to the company. This combination of features enables mid-process part inspection and material exchange, coolant use in the work envelope and greater process speed.



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Source Eng. and MTT


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