Integration of 3D Printing in Standard CNC Machining

Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies has developed a unique CNC-based hybrid tool control solution that enables virtually any CNC machine or robotic platform to deploy both metal-cutting and metal-adding heads in the spindle and conveniently change between them. Such operations are normally undertaken by discrete machines and require lengthy additional changeovers and programming steps that take a lot of time. The new technology allows for the majority of metal parts made by 3D printing to have post-processing operations. The hybrid approach also allows different compositions of materials to be used in the same component, while in-process inspection can assure quality levels otherwise impractical or impossible to evaluate. After initial issues relating to both the Ethernet communications and the HMI – with its original control solution, in cooperation with Beckhoff these issues were resolved and easier connection at customer sites was facilitated, offering greater capability to expand the solution as the technology and the customers’ needs evolve.