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Additive and Robotics – Better Together
Posted on October 26th, 2016 by Ken Klapproth in New Materials & Applications
The best manufacturing step is the one you don’t have to do. Combining additive manufacturing with robotic positioning eliminates the need for temporary support structures and their requisite downstream removal steps.
Successfully moving a new technology from the demonstrator lab to the production floor not only requires passing the hurdle of technological validation but also that of economic viability. Since manufacturing processes are tuned over time, the status quo process if often extremely efficient and cost effective – making the leap extremely high.
The 3D printing solutions company, Stratasys, may have just cleared that hurdle for companies in several industries by combining the positioning dexterity of industrial robots with the flexibility of advanced 3D printing technology to create finished parts with complex geometries requiring no temporary support structures. Done in this way while leveraging precision digital systems from Siemens, intricate parts can be printed more quickly and subsequent cleanup operations can be eliminated. Unlike traditional 3D printing processes where the machine table moves in a linear direction and the part is built up in layers, the Stratasys system positions the part along 8 axes with respect to the material deposition nozzle. As a result, production speed and part surface finish are improved. Jump to about 1:40 in the following video to see the process up close and personal:
If you do skip ahead, be sure to rewind and watch the beginning to understand what this approach means to representatives of the Aerospace and Automotive industry. Engineering.com also produced an indepth interview with Scott Sevcik, head of aerospace, defense and automotive at Stratasys where you can learn more about the approach.
Still on the fence about additive manufacturing or have you now seen enough to make the leap? What manufacturing processes at your company could be improved using this technique? Tell us about your quest for unconventional knowledge and what it could mean for the future of your products or companies. Share your thoughts in the comments section below and don’t forget to follow us on your favorite social media channel.
All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.
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