Product-Highlight Rapid.Tech 3D 2024

All-rounder for laser metal deposition (LMD) and milling

This hybrid robot cell leaves nearly nothing to be desired: It can be used for both additive and subtractive machining of small and large components.

One of the latest developments from toolcraft is a hybrid robot application that can be used for both additive and subtractive machining.

The laser welding head can machine components using directed energy deposition (LMD/DED). This technique coats and adds new contours to existing components using selective material deposition. Damaged and worn components can also be repaired by depositing material where it is required, with the laser-based and intricate welding process transferring very little heat into the workpiece. Besides saving costs, repairs use fewer materials than making new components and allow for combinations of materials that were not previously possible. The robot from Mabi Robotic has a machining radius of 2.25 metres, making it suitable for both small and large components. In addition to “traditional” laser-powder deposition welding, extreme high-speed laser application (EHLA) deposition can be used to coat rotationally symmetrical components very efficiently, e.g. with a hard or wear-resistant coating.

The adaptive motor spindle allows components to be pre-machined, welded and post-machined in a single clamping setup within the same robot system. The switch from welding to milling is also fully automated without the need for any manual intervention. This allows surfaces to be prepared for the welding process, reference surfaces to be produced during the manufacturing process and surface finishes to be machined in further steps. With reachability of around two metres combined with a rotating and swivel unit as the machining table, the robot can be used for flexible, 8-axis manufacturing of complex geometries. Comprehensive Siemens NX offline programming allows movements to be simulated separately from the manufacturing process and to be programmed using extremely precise path planning.