The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) was opened in 2011 as an attempt to encourage the development of high-tech manufacturing technology in the UK and help connect academia and industry. As one of the largest public sector investments in UK manufacturing, the MTC exists to foster collaborative partnerships between academia and business that can take ideas from research and adapt them into marketable products and services. Their massive 12,000-square-meter facility acts as a development and demonstration center for new and advanced industrial manufacturing technologies for MTC partners and local industry. Currently it houses more than 85 business and industrial members that use the facility to develop and test dozens of cutting-edge technologies.
Japanese heavy industrial technology manufacturer Matsuura Machinery has just announced that they have officially joined the UK-based MTC. As part of their membership, Matsuura will be delivering one of their large-scale industrial Lumex Avance-25 3D printing and CNC hybrid systems this summer, where it will be operated and maintained by a group of Matsuura engineers. The on-site Lumex Avance-25 will be independently verified and all of the system’s processes and applications will be fully certified by the team at MTC. Additionally, it will be heavily featured in a series of hybrid additive manufacturing workshops and educational seminars designed to showcase the advanced technology of the Lumex Avance-25. These workshops will be fully endorsed by the MTC.
The Lumex Avance-25 will also be made available to dozens of MTC Tier 1 companies and members for a variety of core research and prototyping projects. The new additive and subtractive hybrid manufacturing system will be seen by many of the 25,000 MTC visitors who visit and tour the facility every year, which will significantly raise the profile of Matsuura. They company has been developing the Lumex Avance-25 technology for more than a decade and it represents some of the most state-of-the-art industrial manufacturing technologies available in the world.
The Lumex Avance-25 is being called the world’s first metal 3D printing and CNC milling hybrid machine platform in the world. It is able to use laser sintering technology to form fully-solid metal parts and components with highly complex internal features and geometries. Then those completed parts can be machined with an integrated CNC milling system that will automatically post-process the 3D printed parts, which virtually removes the need for human operators from the process. The finished parts will have a perfect surface finish when they are removed from the Lumex Avance-25 and will not require any additional post-processing work.
Here is some video explaining the technology of the Lumex Avance-25:
Matsuura’s Lumex Avance-25 is capable of 3D printing and post-processing metal parts as large as 250mm wide by 250mm long by 185mm tall (9.8 by 9.8 by 7.2 inches). The metal parts are formed by melting powdered metal materials using a powerful 400 W fiber laser. Matsuura has also just announced their Lumex Avance-60, a larger and more advanced machine than the Lumex Avance-25. The Lumex Avance-60 is capable of producing and post-processing fully-metal parts as large as 610mm wide by 610mm long by 500mm tall (24 by 24 by 19.6 inches) and is equipped with a 1 kw fiber laser. It also has an improved powder distribution system and a maximum build speed has been increased to 35 square centimeters and hour. Discuss further over in the Lumex Avance-60 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.