Mazak's next generation hybrid additive manufacturing machineClick image to enlarge

Mazak's VC-500 AM next generation hybrid machine combines five axis and additive manufacturing technologies. The machine made its debut at IMTS 2016 in Chicago, IL.

The VC-500 AM hybrid multi-tasking machine brings together Mazak’s expertise in building multi-yasking machines, experience with fiber laser technology, additive knowledge and Kentucky Mazak iSMART Factory manufacturing operations to produce this new machine at competitive pricing, says the company.

Ideal for manufacturers who require optimum part finish and high accuracy, the VC-500 AM machine builds part features to near net shape up to ten times faster than other comparable systems quickly and easily without wasting expensive material and losing time by subtracting large amounts of metal from a solid material using normal multi-tasking machining technology.

Constructed on a simple, compact five xis platform, the new VC-500 AM is cost effective and accommodates a wide range of part sizes and shapes, making it well-suited for educational institutions and research and development facilities as well.

The VC-500 AM can machine parts up to 500 mm (19.7 in.) in diameter, 305 mm (12 in.) in height and up to 200 kg (440 lb). The additive cladding head can work in the same machining area, depending on the application and location of the features of the part.

The new VC-500 AM offers users geometric freedom vis a vis direct metal deposition, which allows for both additive and subtractive machining capabilities in a single setup.

The laser cladding heads reside side-by-side with the subtractive machining spindle.

During operation, the VC-500 AM uses fiber laser heat to melt the chosen metal powder that will be used to the grow near-net-shape 3D forms. The cladding head applies the molten material layer by layer, all of which solidify as the desired part surface or features grows. The laser cladding head can also be used to coat chosen sections of the part with metal, allowing the machine to repair worn or damaged high-value components.

Part of the company’s Smooth Technology platform, the Mazak Mazatrol SmoothX CNC makes it easy to generate programs for highly complex parts production. It has several advanced functions that allow it to ensure the shortest possible machining cycle times, especially in fine increment programs for simultaneous 5-axis operations and free-form die-mold machining.

Ergonomics also play an important role in the functionality of the Mazatrol SmoothX CNC. A large 19 in. display presents all of the critical machine data within a single page view, while the tilt control panel allows for optimum positioning based on operator height. An intuitive multi-touch screen, which is similar to that of a smartphone, enables fast and smooth programming operations. An SD card allows the CNC to store up to 32GB of data.

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