An expert in CNC milling and machining, Germany-based CHIRON Group has made a big step into the additive world with the launch of its first 3D printing system, the AM Cube. The metal AM technology is built for producing large, complex components and near net shape components, as well as for coating and repairing existing parts. The new 3D printer will be showcased through an online Open House event (as is the new normal) from May 14 to 19, 2020.
By expanding into metal additive manufacturing, CHIRON is aiming to broaden its offering outside of subtractive production to provide its clients with more complete manufacturing solutions. The company’s AM Cube system will complement its existing metal machining and automation competencies and will have applications in the aerospace and energy sectors, among others.
“The Additive Manufacturing department is a start-up within our own business group,” said Axel Boi, Head of Additive Manufacturing at the CHIRON Group. “With this 3D metal printer, made by CHIRON, we are creating a facility for manufacturing larger components with long procurement times and high material prices. This technology can be used effectively in the mechanical engineering, tool manufacturing, energy production and aerospace sectors. These are all important target sectors for the CHIRON Group.”
The AM Cube draws from CNC machining systems, using a conventional cartesian coordinate system as its foundation. The machine also has an adaptable print head system, enabling users to change between three printheads during an active printing or coating process. This means that the system can combine various process requirements in a single print, with one printhead providing high surface quality and another being used for a higher deposition rate, for instance.
CHIRON also points out that the system stands out for its ability to deposit both wire and powder materials, and both can be applied in a single manufacturing process. The printer’s wire deposition capability is ideal for minimizing material waste and producing parts with superior safety characteristics, while the powder deposition is well suited for coating applications.
CHIRON’s new 3D printer can be programmed using a standardized DIN ISO code or CAD/CAM software for more complex designs. The entire system is controlled by Siemens components and was built for intuitive usage. The AM Cube is also designed in such a way that it can be reconfigured from 4-axis machining to 5-axis machining, and integrates a number of safety features for independent operation. CHIRON adds that if printing reactive metals like titanium, the AM Cube can be flooded with protective gas to minimize oxidation and improve print results. The new metal AM system is currently undergoing extensive field tests by a pilot customer.