One-Process Metal 3D printing & milling machine

One-Process Metal 3D printing & milling machine

September 29, 2016

Sodick Inc.

Schaumburg, Illinois – Machine tool manufacturer Sodick has announced the release of the OPM250L, an additive Metal 3D Printer which incorporates high speed milling into the same workspace, allowing for single-process production of finished components. Sodick, best known for their rigid linear motor driven EDMs, enters a new product category with the new machine, and Sodick representatives have stated that they believe 3D Printing is an ideal complement to their current offerings. Though the OPM250L continues to incorporate Sodick’s characteristic rigid linear motors and motion control technology, the additive machine is Sodick’s first product offering Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) technology. The OPM250L is primarily aimed at mold makers, as the ability to create conformal cooling channels within a finished mold greatly improves mold performance by reducing cooling time, deformation, and cycle time.

Sodick’s OPM250L offers the unique ability to machine work pieces before printing is complete, with alternating passes of laser sintering and milling; this cannot be accomplished on traditional 3D printers, which require extensive finishing processes after printing. In addition to producing conformal cooling channels, this technology also makes it possible to reduce the number of parts necessary to produce a mold, in some instances reducing a mold from 21 pieces to just one. Due to the unique demands of such a fully integrated machine, Sodick has developed a dedicated CAM system capable of importing CAD data, generating laser and machining data, optimizing cutting along high-load areas, and simulating the process to accurately estimate production time.

The fully integrated One-Process Machine further achieves significant process improvements, allowing for unmanned and remote machining. Designed for maximum compatibility with the Internet of Things (IoT), Sodick’s unmanned OPM250L may be operated remotely in a way that would be difficult if not impossible to achieve through methods involving multiple machine tools. Through more integrated technology and a more streamlined work process, Sodick believes that the OPM250L improves all major areas of concern for mold manufacturers, from lead time to production cost to mold performance.

Source:  Sodick Inc.