Optomec has integrated its Huffman brand AutoCLAD vision system with its traditional LENS metal 3D printer family. AutoCLAD is an integrated vision and software system that generates a custom toolpath for each part prior to processing.
Originally developed for the Huffman brand, the system has been used in production extensively by major manufacturers and servicers of aircraft engines and industrial gas turbines to restore worn or damaged components. Adding this capability to the LENS brand of solutions will enable customers to use automated DED for the repair of reactive metals like titanium in a controlled, argon atmosphere. It also brings the AutoCLAD technology to hybrid Additive Manufacturing–combining additive manufacturing and machining capabilities in a single system.
Optomec discussed this development Formnext in Frankfurt, Germany, in late November 2019.
AutoCLAD images the part and then automatically adapts and modifies the toolpath and DED parameters for each individual part based on variations in orientation, dimension and shape. It not only adjusts the toolpath for variation, but it also adapts laser power to reduce the heat input into thinner areas, which reduces the heat-affected zone (HAZ) of the finished part. Finally, by fine-tuning the toolpath for the individual part, a smaller overbuild is achieved that reduces the final machining time after the additive manufacturing process.
“This latest enhancement combines three important technologies developed by Optomec into a single system. Combining the capabilities of AutoCLAD with Optomec’s industry-leading controlled atmosphere technology and hybrid manufacturing solutions enables the processing of reactive metals without oxidation, and allows Additive Manufacturing and machining in a single system. No other company has this combination, in fact, no one has software like AutoCLAD,” says Mike Dean, marketing director at Optomec.
The AutoCLAD system is available immediately as an upgrade for all Optomec LENS systems that use the Siemens 840D controller, which includes the LENS CS 600, CS 800, CS 1500, and MTS 860 machines.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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