Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Spain’s Ibarmia Mixes Perfect Combination of New & Traditional Technology to Make ADD + PROCESS 3D Printer

ST Medical Devices

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UntitledThe name Ibarmia, in Spain and in the industrial world, is synonymous with machines. Founded over 60 years ago, this family-owned machine tool company offers innovative and customized products to their client base around the globe. They’ve broken the mold with their latest invention though, in the form of the ADD + PROCESS, which is part 3D printer and part traditional, precision milling machine. As a comprehensive piece of massive hardware, it is capable of printing parts that are as large as 1.6 meters long, or nearly 5.25 feet.

As a completely autonomous industrial center, not only can it make large prototypes, but it can also be used to maintain parts and components, as it can offer repairs for components for larger parts that would otherwise be very expensive to replace or even find–offering huge potential in industries such as automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, and the machine-tool sectors.

resizeThe unique features offered by this machine should indeed have greater impact on revolutionizing manufacturing as it uses the combination of both 3D printing and older more traditional technologies–a combination which today often proves to be extremely powerful, and effective in hardware. The ADD + PROCESS not only allows for laser 3D printing but large parts can be milled and turned as well, with material being handled on a micrometric scale. The least amount of material possible is used, eliminating waste and added costs in energy.

New ideas and products are able to be designed and fabricated due to 3D printing as well, offering new geometries, textures, and details while saving up to sixty percent in terms of material and energy at times. The Ibarmia team also sees this machine as offering much better methods for making specific, high quality components in areas where safety is extremely important and a critical factor–for instance, with aircraft parts.

“Additive manufacturing and 3D printing are a reality that is drastically changing process in various fields and sectors,” states the Ibarmia team on their website. “The machining process of pieces obtained by additive methods has only been approached by a few world leading companies so far.”

“IBARMIA decided to join this exclusive group incorporating laser cladding capacities in the five-axis multitasking machines, giving birth to the ADD+PROCESS product family. In these machines, once we obtain the raw geometry by addition, the pieces are machined in the same machine and even the same set up. This way the machine becomes an autonomous production unit, generating finished pieces from nothing.”

Credit: Tecnalia

Photo Credit: Tecnalia

Gaining a lot of buzz, the project for creating the ADD+PROCESS machine was backed by the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community and the Spanish Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness. The idea is not only to fire up some amazing R&D for industry but also to create new ways for companies to be more competitive, productive, and innovative. The true collaboration was between Ibarmia, the University of the Basque Country and the Tecnalia Research Center.

It has been showcased with great fanfare so far at the recent EMO fair in Milan. Next, the ADD+PROCESS will be in use by various companies at TECNALIA’s facilities in the Technology Park of Donostia-San Sebastian. There, it’s applications in the industrial world will be tested in a research and development scenario, with a variety of tasks and applications being examined, as well as the study of materials and future potential projects.

Let us know your thoughts on this new printer. Discuss in the Ibarmia forum thread on 3DPB.com.

[Source: Phys.org]

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