Wire-Arc AM From Optimized Design Yields Lightweight Robot Arm

August 19, 2020

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Wire-Arc AM From Optimized Design Yields Lightweight Robot Arm
Designed by engineers of Altair and 3D printed via wire-arc additive manufacturing (AM) by MX3D, a new lightweight stainless-steel industrial robot arm is now serving as a replacement part for an ABB robot. MX3D built the arm in 4 days, yielding a 73-kg part, as compared to the arm’s original weight of 150 kg. The 50-percent weight reduction showcases the ability of design optimization, while the combination of near-net-shape metal printing and conventional machining highlight the rapid lead time and flexibility of wire-arc AM. The team at Altair optimized the arm to improve handling (lower kinetic energy), while improving precision and increasing build rate, using the firm’s Digital Twin Design process, which included performance-requirement identification via kinematic motion simulation of assemblies.

Velo3D video
VIDEO: Metal AM of Microturbines at Sierra Turbines
In this 5-min. video interview with Roger Smith, CEO and founder of Sierra Turbines, learn how the company is working to improve the service life of its products by as much as 40 times and power density by 10 times, by using metal-AM technology from nTopology and Velo3D to print fuel-injection rings and other components from Hastelloy X.

New Book on Metal AM Covers Materials, Processes, Tests and Standards
From Leila Ladani, Ph.D., a professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of The Polytechnic School at Arizona State University, comes this new book titled, Additive Manufacturing of Metals: Materials, Processes, Tests, and Standards. Published by DEStech Publications, Inc., the book serves as a technical introduction to metal AM, with a focus on powder-bed fusion (PBF) processes.  Included:
  • Techniques for manufacturing parts using PBF
  • The physics of the PBF process, including variations between laser and e-beam heat sources
  • The microstructures of metals and their variations due to PBF processes
  • Methods for assessing quality and reliability of parts
  • Standards governing the quality and safety of AM production methods
Order the entire e-book for $125, or purchase individual chapters for $25 apiece.

Industry News
Sigma Labs Appoint Immel Senior Director of Business Development
New Version of Software for CNC-Machining Simulation Adds AM Features
Velo3D, Lam to Team on Development of Semiconductor Applications
Spee3D AM Technology Added at U.S. Army Rock Island Arsenal
3DEO Earns MDIF Award for Stainless-Steel Firearm Part

Summer 2020
In This Issue
AM-Machine Technology and Applications Expanding
R&D investment, improved material availability, larger build volumes and more drive the uptick in metal-AM applications.
Teach Engineers to Understand the Business Case
… for metal additive manufacturing (AM) to help convince decision makers that investing in the technology will pay off quickly. Building a business case on the foundation of purchase-price variance will put teeth to more familiar concepts such as improved product performance and speed to market.

Coming in 3DMP's Fall 2020 Issue
  • Software for Metal AM
  • Laser DED
  • Quality Control

Industry-Related Terms: Case, LASER, Lead Time
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms



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