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12-03-2019 | Lightweight Design | News | Article

LASIMM Can Handle Large-Scale Additive and Subtractive Processes

Author:
Andreas Burkert

A massive hybrid manufacturing machine with 3D printing and subtraction capabilities could lead to cost and time savings of up to 20 % in additive processes. The Large Additive Subtractive Integrated Modular Machine (LASIMM) has gone into testing.

One of the world's largest hybrid manufacturing machines with 3D printing and subtraction capabilities has been designed as a part of the LASIMM project. The aim of the funded project was to develop a machine capable of producing components directly from CAD models for industries with the highest standards. The machine is currently in the testing phase. The manufactured demo components were developed by industrial users and will test the performance of the machine as well as its limits.

The machine offers functions such as machining, cold processing, measuring technology and inspection for the additive manufacturing process. These techniques are very well suited for the hybrid production of large technical components. In addition, up to 20% time and cost savings are possible in mass production compared to the current additive and subtractive processes, as well as up to a 15% increase in productivity in the mass production of additive manufacturing processes with regard to the current additive and subtractive processes.

Modular configuration of robot arms and milling robots

The LASIMM consists of a modular configuration of industrial robot arms and a special milling robot. The robot arms take over the additive production of aluminium and steel, while the milling robot removes excess material for finishing. This process could change entire major industries, such as aerospace, renewable energies, energy, transport and construction, moving them away from standardised components and towards tailor-made solutions.

The hybrid production machine will enable "many markets to produce larger materials quickly and cost-effectively in the future," says Karl Osti, Industry Manager Manufacturing at Autodesk. The advantages include greater flexibility and robustness of the machines, as well as a reduction in inventories and the required work area.

LASIMM project partners

Organisations from six countries (Belgium, Great Britain, Denmark, Spain, Germany and Portugal) jointly developed the Large Additive Subtractive Integrated Modular Machine (LASIMM). The machine is based on a scalable framework with an open architecture and associated software and enables entirely parallel production. A total of ten partners are involved in the project, including six companies (including the entire supply chain required to manufacture such a machine), two universities and two research institutes. Project partners include the European Federation for Welding, Joining and Cutting; BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd; Foster + Partners Limited; Vestas Wind Systems A/S; Cranfield University; Global Robots Ltd; Loxin2002 S.L.; Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung GmbH; Autodesk and Instituto Superior Técnico. The LASIMM project was funded by the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme of the European Union under the number H2020-FoF-2016-723600-LASIMM.

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