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Mazak unveiled hybrid metal 3D printer with multiple heads
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By Staff | 3Ders

Yamazaki Mazak Corporation (Mazak) is the latest company to step into the 3D printing market by adding a new INTEGREX i-400AM (additive manufacturing) HYBRID Multi-Tasking machine to its machine tool lineup.

Mazak was established in 1919 and has been contributing to the development of the machine tool industry as a leading global company. It manufactures advanced machine tools such as multi-tasking centers, CNC turning centers, machining centers, laser processing machines as well as automation systems.

The INTEGREX i-400AM, equipped with multiple Ambit laser cladding heads, is a 3D metal printer with multi-tasking capabilities. It is able to change from high rate to fine metal deposition by tool changing the heads. The INTEGREX i-400AM is suited for small lot production of very difficult-to-cut materials such as those used in the aerospace, energy and medical industries.

In operation, the INTEGREX i-400AM melts metal powder using fiber laser heat. Cladding heads (additive manufacturing nozzles) apply the molten material layer by layer, each of which solidifies as the desired shape grows. The system can also join different types of metals to one another, a capability beneficial in the efficient repair of existing worn or damaged components, such as aerospace turbine blades.

Mazak offers two types of cladding heads – high speed or high accuracy. Cladding heads store in the INTEGREX i-400AM's tool magazine, and the standard automatic tool changer loads them into the machine's milling turret. Users select the appropriate head based on the intended process and the particular metal powder to be used.

On the Multi-Tasking machine side, the INTEGREX i-400AM provides full 5-axis capability to easily process prismatic parts from solid billets or castings (chucked or bar fed), round parts, highly contoured parts and now those with features built using additive technology. The machine provides -30/+210 degree B-axis movement in its milling spindle, full C-axis contouring with its turning spindle and an NC tailstock that is fully programmable.

Mazak first saw the opportunity to combine additive and subtractive technology on the INTEGREX machine series. Mazak says that they have "always been at the forefront of multi-tasking in machine tools and adding metal deposition capabilities is a natural extension of this theme. Hybrid multi-tasking will provide our customers world-wide with new possibilities for their Mazak machines."

Mazak demonstrated the machin live at the JIMTOF exhibition in Tokyo, Japan this week. Also highlighted is the ability to make parts from multiple materials, namely the deposition of a nickel-based super alloy onto a stainless steel substrate.

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