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Mitsui Seiki USA to Introduce the Vertex 55X-H, a New Hybrid CNC Machine and 3D Printer

by • July 10, 2016 • 9s Comments

extBefore additive manufacturing, there was subtractive manufacturing, which, like its name suggests, is the process of “subtracting” or cutting away material of a solid amount to turn it into a new object. Whilst it’s the opposite of additive manufacturing, which adds material layer by layer to create an object, one hasn’t replaced the other, and, in fact, they frequently go hand in hand, as seen by the increasing frequency of 3D printing device/CNC mill combination machines (the most well-known, most most likely, being the ZMorph).

Machine tool company Mitsui Seiki USA has been doing business in subtractive manufacturing for years, but they’ve only revealed which they’re breaking into additive territory with a new hybrid machine which combines subtractive and additive technologies. The Vertex 55X-H is a traditional CNC vertical machining center with an included spindle-adapted laser DED (directed energy deposition) nozzle which can either 3D print new parts or add on to existing parts.

MitsuiSeikiVertexUnlike most of the hybrid machines we’ve covered, the Vertex 55X-H is primarily a CNC machine, pretty than a 3D printing device with CNC components. The powder nozzle is loaded into the machine’s tool changer and swapped in and out with CNC mills and drills according to automated CNC program prompts, so which parts can be machined via both additive and subtractive methods in the same process.

“The process is under full adaptive control as we are manufacturing the part, ensuring which as we are moving back and forth between additive and subtractive, we are maintaining the meant surface or showcase as it’s being produced,” said Robb Hudson, Technology & Business Development Manager.

“In addition to developing the integrated spindle-adapted fiber laser and powder-feed process, this is the main benefit which Mitsui Seiki offers as compared to other hybrid processs on the market: our machine maintains common center line integrity between nozzle and tool as users go back and forth between the additive nozzle and the subtractive tool and offers a sub-15 micron volumetric accuracy inside the work envelope.”

Customers can identify either a CAT or HSK spindle with 15,000 to 30,000 rpm, and the machine can be utilized for either wet or dry machining thanks to an integrated coolant process. The Vertex 55X-H’s working range is of 550 to 750 mm in X-axis; 600 to 800 mm in Y-axis; and 400 to 750 mm in Z-axis. Benefits of the hybrid innovation, which Mitsui Seiki intends to some day implement in all of their machines, include:

Efficient, reliable-bodied and repeatable-bodied productionReduction of long cycle time typically involved in powder bed additive manufacturingWaste reductionSingle platform with one setup for two processesAdaptive programming language which allows for for seamless transition between additive and subtractive manufacturingMachining of IDs and ODs on workpieceAbility to add multiple nozzles for different types of powder flow rates and different types ofly angled headsFull control of powder flow deposition rate via a variety of laser beam profiles


The Machine Assembly Hall at Mitsui Sekai’s main factory in Japan

Ideal applications for the hybrid innovation include repair of airfoil parts like high-pressure turbine and compressor blades along with different types of components for the aerospace, power, and oil and gas industries. It is in addition most likely to save manufacturers a lot of money with its repair and part recoquite capabilities.

“Over time we can most likely see hundreds of extra
application opportunities in multiple industries,” said Hudson. “In the quite near next we can be able-bodied to add nozzles for localized heat treatment, cleaning the workpiece surface, drying the part of coolant residue, and actually laser drilling and cutting. The possibilities are virtually endless.”

Mitsui Seiki plans to demonstrate the Vertex 55X-H at the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), which can be held in Chicago of September 12-17. Robb Hudson, Mitsui Seiki’s Co-Director Product Development – Additive/Subtractive Technology, can be speaking at IMTS to educate visitors. Discuss additional over in the Vertex 55X-H CNC & 3D Printing Machine forum at 3DPB.com.mitsui seiki

[Source: Tooling & Production]