Mazak will present the company's HYBRID approach to additive manufacturing at this year's RAPID + TCT Conference and Expo. At the event, Mazak engineers will demonstrate how the Mazak VC-500 AM (additive manufacturing) HYBRID Multi-Tasking machine combines full 5-axis capability and additive technology to revolutionize product design, reduce time to market and cut R&D costs.
Designed and manufactured in Florence, Kentucky, the VC-500 AM machine builds part features to near net shape up to ten times faster than comparable systems and without wasting expensive material or losing time by subtracting large amounts of metal from a solid piece of material using conventional machining.
The machine offers users geometric freedom via direct metal deposition, which allows for both additive and subtractive machining capabilities in a single setup. The laser cladding heads of the VC-500 AM 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.
Constructed on a simple, compact 5-axis platform, the VC-500 AM is very cost effective and accommodates a wide range of part sizes and shapes up to 19.7" in diameter, 12" in height and up to 440 lbs. It is ideal for manufacturers who require optimum part finish and high accuracy and is also well suited for educational institutions and research and development facilities.
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