Just like Collider merged 3D mold making and injection molding in our May 19th blog post, Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies brought together two key manufacturing systems into one new technology. CNC Machining and Additive Manufacturing (AM) were combined, using both subtractive and additive processes, to develop specialty tool heads that transform any CNC machine into a hybrid AM system.

The AMBIT – a tool-changeable deposition system that makes it possible for any CNC machine or other robotic platform to perform directed energy deposition (DED) metal 3D printing – was the result of the cost-savings industry need to purchase just the deposition head rather than buying a full 3D printer with the existing systems of motion platforms.

The advantage of hybrid manufacturing is that it combines the benefits of both subtractive and additive processes. For subtractive manufacturing, a metal block is milled to achieve the desired shape, but the spindle may not be able to access certain areas of a part making complex geometries may also be difficult to obtain. But with additive manufacturing, this solves that problem by building an object from scratch in a single operation. Thus, hybrid manufacturing becomes a practical technology with practical applications.

Jason Jones, CEO and co-founder of Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies, spoke on the future of hybrid 3D printing.

“Depolying technologies in a tool changeable format our unique approach and passion,” Jones said. “This development brings infinite flexibility to the production sequence because hybrid machines can switch on the fly between different types of processing selected from: adding, subtracting or inspecting. In this way the hybrid approach is reducing manual transfer to downstream operations and overcoming the challenge of conventional line balancing. In short, it is redefining the rules.”

The possibility of these new tool heads actually driving a successful future of all-in-one manufacturing is still up in the air, but the advancement in this new technology is very promising for the industry. Read the full story from engineering.com.

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