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Revolutionary Automation Cell Combines 3D Printing with Post-Processing to Quadruple Part Throughput

Methods Machine Tools Inc. will soon be introducing a revolutionary cell solution designed to make quantum leap production increases in 3D manufacturing throughput. The first-of-its-kind automation cell combines additive manufacturing with robotics and subtractive processes, providing fast, highly efficient finished 3D part production.

"We're really excited about this full production cell which addresses how manufacturers can successfully integrate necessary post-process machining operations in a high productivity, end-to-end solution," said Methods 3D Inc. General Manager Benjamin Fisk.

The 20-foot Methods cell includes a 3D-printed product in-feeding station which shuttles 3D parts on build plates into a FANUC C600 EDM machine that makes a cut between the parts and build plates. In the next station a FANUC robot snaps the plates from the printed parts and transfers the parts to a FANUC RoboDrill for a final machining operation.

"This automated lights-out manufacturing cell was designed to drastically reduce the total time to complete parts from 3D printing to final post-processing," added John Lucier, National Automation Manager at Methods Machine Tools, Inc. "It can easily quadruple total part throughput while eliminating manual labor."

Methods will be showcasing the cell at the RAPID + tct Show, May 9-11, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburg, PA.

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