Okuma is known for being a manufacturer of CNC machines, but the company is now branching out into additive manufacturing – or rather hybrid manufacturing. Hybrid manufacturing combines one or more manufacturing techniques, often additive and subtractive manufacturing, into one process or, in some cases, one machine. For some types of parts, it is one of the most effective manufacturing methods, as the benefits of multiple technologies are combined to create a more efficient, more effective process.
Okuma has just introduced the MU-8000V Laser EX multitasking CNC machine, which combines subtractive manufacturing with laser additive manufacturing technology. The machine uses Laser Metal Deposition (LMD), a technique which can not only 3D print entirely new items but can also add onto existing items for repair or cladding. It can also print with multiple materials in one build. Combining LMD with CNC machining allows for parts to be cut into different shapes and sizes, added on to, and trimmed again.
The MU-8000V Laser EX allows for parts to be inspected and repaired during production, and efficiency and resolution are increased thanks to an infinitely variable control of laser spot diameters (Ø0.4 to 8.5 mm). By using LMD instead of Laser Metal Fusion, the MU-8000V Laser EX offers mid-process part inspection and material exchange, coolant use in the work envelope, and an overall faster process, according to Okuma.
Okuma plans to introduce additional Laser EX machines in the future. Features will include laser hardening, which is designed to work on carbon steel material and involves heating by laser emission and hardening by self-cooling. Case hardening is also possible, and this technique involves less warpage than with high frequency or flame hardening. Another feature will be process-intensive turn hardening and grinding, in which cutting and grinding is completed on a single CNC machine with no setup change. It allows for uniform-width turn hardening using a high-output, stable laser and case hardening on a cylindrical surface with no uneven hardening and little warping. Finally, the company will offer resin mold repairs, from crack removal to finishing, on a single machine. This feature will accommodate hard-to-cut and high-hardness materials.
Many other CNC companies have begun to bring additive manufacturing into their businesses and this will lead to the expansion of 3D printing as a technology. Perhaps increased competitiveness will lead to better machines as well? Okuma is the latest to acknowledge the effectiveness of combining CNC and 3D Printing, and the MU-8000V Laser EX may just be the beginning of the company’s venture into 3D printing.
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
You May Also Like
3D Printing News Briefs, December 3, 2022: Degradable Polymers & 3D Printed Trophies
We’re starting with some more formnext news in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, as the Foundry Lab debuted its microwave technology for quicker, cheaper metal casting at the trade show....
Women in 3D Printing Introduces Advisory Board of AM Alums
As Women in 3D Printing (Wi3DP) continues to grow at a rapid pace, the organization is entering a new phase of evolution. This year, it made the enormous step of...
3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: October 9, 2022
We’ve got loads of things to tell you about in this week’s roundup! There are multiple events, both in-person and virtual, as well as numerous webinars on a variety of...
Mobility | Medical goes Additive Announces MGA Annual Meeting & Women in AM Summit 2022
Mobility goes Additive e.V. was founded in 2016 by companies such as the German Railway, Deutsche Bahn, one of the largest railway suppliers Siemens Mobility, and EOS, a globally renowned...