Optomec, a global supplier of production-grade additive manufacturing equipment and software, has announced the integration of its Huffman brand AutoCLAD vision system with its LENS metal 3D printer family. AutoCLAD is a proprietary integrated vision and software system that generates custom toolpaths for additively manufactured parts.
The AutoCLAD system was originally developed for the Huffman brand and has been used extensively by aircraft engine and industrial gas turbine manufacturers and MROs to restore damaged components. By integrating the AutoCLAD system to the LENS AM solutions will allow customers to user DED to repair components made from reactive metals, such as titanium, in a controlled argon atmosphere. Notably, the integration also bring AutoCLAD’s capabilities to hybrid AM, combining 3D printing and machining in one system.
“This latest enhancement combines three important technologies developed by Optomec into a single system,” explained Mike Dean, Marketing Director at Optomec. “Combining the capabilities of AutoCLAD with Optomec’s industry-leading controlled atmosphere technology and hybrid manufacturing solutions enables the processing of reactive metals without oxidation, and allows Additive Manufacturing and machining in a single system.
“No other company has this combination, in fact, no one has software like AutoCLAD. We see this as a big win for customers who want to use DED for the repair of titanium components as well as anyone doing repetitive part repair in industries such as oil and gas, mining, and tool and die.”
The AutoCLAD software system images the part that needs repairing and automatically modifies the toolpath and DED parameters for the component, taking into account variations in orientation, dimension and shape. The software also adapts laser power, reducing heat for thinner areas of the part. According to Optomec, this feature helps to reduce the heat-affected zone (HAZ) of the final part.
Another key advantage of the software is that the custom toolpaths result in a smaller overbuild, which in turn results in less machining time to complete the part.
The AutoCLAD system is now available as an upgrade for all Optomec LENS systems that use the Siemens 840D controller, such as the LENS CS 600, CS 800, CS 1500, and MTS 860 machines.
Optomec also recently unveiled a pure copper DED-based additive manufacturing process.