Optomec Inc. (Albuquerque, NM) integrated the Huffman AutoCLAD vision system with their LENS directed energy deposition (DED) metal 3D printing solutions. AutoCLAD is a proprietary 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 enables 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 that combines AM and machining capabilities in a single system. AutoCLAD images the part, 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 and drastically reduce the heat-affected zone (HAZ) of the finished part.
Finally, by fine-tuning the toolpath for the individual part, a smaller overbuild is achieved which significantly reduces the final machining time after the additive manufacturing process. “This latest enhancement combines three important technologies into a single system,” said Mike Dean, the marketing director at Optomec. “Combining the capabilities of AutoCLAD with a controlled atmosphere technology and hybrid manufacturing solutions enables the processing of reactive metals without oxidation, and allows AM and machining in a single system. This is a big win for shops who want to use DED for the repair of titanium components, as well as anyone doing repetitive part repair in industries such as oil and gas, mining, and tool and die.” 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.
Optomec Inc., 3911 Singer NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109, 505-761-8250, Fax: 505-761-6638, www.optomec.com.
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