In Booth N-9000, Cincinnati Incorporated (CI; Harrison, OH) is ready to make noise by displaying the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine that had manufacturers buzzing at IMTS last year when it printed a full-size car at the show. The large-scale BAAM machine has a 6 ft x 12 ft x 3 ft work envelope and uses the chassis, drives and control of CI’s laser cutting system as the base to extrude hot thermoplastic to build parts layer-by-layer. The machine, developed as part of a cooperative research and development agreement between CI and Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL; Oak Ridge, TN), introduces significant new manufacturing capabilities to a wide range of industries including automotive, aerospace, marine, furniture and much more.
“We developed and pioneered the use of high-speed linear-motor axis drives on laser cutting systems and now the same technology is taking us into the next generation of machine tools,” said Carey Chen, the president and chief executive officer of CI. “BAAM is driving a spirit of renewal for us, as there has been a tremendous response to the machine and the impact it has on manufacturing processes. This sense of rejuvenation also led to a new branding initiative and is having a positive impact on our entire company.”
The proprietary linear motor drives are capable of reaching accelerations in excess of 2.0 G and head positioning speeds of up to 12,000 ipm to deliver positioning accuracy of ±0.001 in per axis. Chen added, “This machine platform has been field tested and proven to be virtually trouble free, and the linear motor drive allows fast and precise positioning, required for proper 3D printing.” A larger version BAAM machine, currently at ORNL, has a work envelope of 8 ft x 20 ft x 6 ft and extrusion rate of about 40 lb/hr that prints polymer components up to 10 times larger than currently producible, at speeds 200 times to 500 times faster than existing additive machines. SABIC Innovative Plastics (Pittsfield, MA) purchased the first BAAM machine and provided the carbon fiber ABS plastic for the IMTS car and will be providing material for BAAM at this show.
The BAAM extruder uses a wide variety of thermoplastics and fiber reinforced thermoplastics and the two companies plan to test a number of materials that will meet the needs of a variety of commercial applications. “We’ve already tested ABS, PPS, PEKK and Ultem and found that carbon fiber and glass fiber reinforcing improve both the strength and thermal stability of the parts,” added Chen.
In Booth S-2799, the company will also demonstrate their new electric 40 ton press brake and have a video wall projecting demonstrations of CI’s laser cutting systems, other press brake models, and shears.
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