Hybrid Multitasking Machine Speeds Part Building

Mazak will debut the VC-500 AM, a hybrid multitasking machine that combines full five-axis machining and direct metal deposition in a single setup.

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Mazak will debut the VC-500 AM, a hybrid multitasking machine that combines full five-axis machining and direct metal deposition in a single setup. According to the company the machine can build part features to near-net shape as much as 10 times faster than comparable systems without wasting material. Constructed on a compact five-axis platform, it can machine a range of part sizes and shapes ranging to 19.7" in diameter and 12" in height, and weighing as much as 440 lbs. The laser cladding head resides side by side with the subtractive machining spindle, working in the same machining area.

During operation, the machine uses fiber laser heat to melt metal powder that will be used to grow near-net-shape 3D forms. The cladding head applies the molten material layer by layer, all of which solidify as the desired part surface or features grows. The laser cladding head can also be used to coat chosen sections of the part with metal, allowing the machine to repair worn or damaged high-value components.