DMG MORI has released its LASERTEC 125 3D hybrid, a new, 5-axis machining system with integrated laser deposition welding capability for the Additive Manufacturing of complex components. The new system is intended for the manufacture, maintenance and repair of workpieces up to 1,250 mm in diameter by 745 mm high and weighing up to 2,000 kg.
The LASERTEC 125 3D follows on from the company’s smaller model, the LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid which it launched in 2013. Since then, the range has expanded, to include the LASERTEC 4300 3D hybrid combining Additive Manufacturing using a powder nozzle and turn-mill machining in one work area, and then with powder bed machines in the LASERTEC SLM series.
According to DMG MORI, the LASERTEC 125 3D hybrid, which is based on the machine tool builder’s rigid monoBLOCK platform, offers high dynamics, rapid build rates and repeatability. Automatic changeover between laser deposition welding and simultaneous 5-axis milling in a single set-up reduces processing times by up to 80%. Such savings are helped by eliminating the need for heat treatment as a separate process step due to the machine’s ability to deposit material with a hardness of up to 63 HRC.
The company explains that the LASERTEC 125 3D hybrid can also produce lightweight structures that reduce the weight of parts by up to 90%. A selling point of laser deposition welding is the possibility it offers to change between two materials quickly under CNC, such as hard surfacing to reduce wear can be carried out in one area and corrosion-resistant welding for environmental protection may be carried out in another. Alternatively, the cooling characteristics of a part can be significantly increased. As an illustration, a die casting mould can be produced by starting with a bronze core that dissipates heat effectively and welding onto it an outer skin of tool steel.
DMG MORI states that in the past five years, such machines have emerged as a key procedure for economical repair and recoating. The damaged area is first prepared by milling before the repair is carried out by laser deposition welding. The part is then finished in a final milling process, all in a single set-up. The individual processes are thus combined in one machine, without compromising other production resources. Due to precise process control, the weld material deposited is of very high quality. The service life of repaired inserts for a die casting mould, for example, is three times longer than if it had been repaired by manual welding.
As with its sister models, the LASERTEC 125 3D hybrid can reportedly be integrated into a CAD/CAM process chain that contributes significantly to raising productivity. High-performance hybrid CAM software for powder nozzle technology, developed especially for DMG Mori by Siemens NX, enables end-to-end programming of repairs with users able to change seamlessly between machining and laser deposition welding during programming. The process steps are sent to the machine in one program and executed alternately in automatic operation.
Additionally, AM Assistant is part of the innovative software and hardware offer which includes an integrated thermal imaging camera for continuous monitoring, either of the entire component or defined areas, monitoring of the melt pool size and temperature, or monitoring of the clearance between nozzle and component.
Threshold values for all relevant parameters such as powder volume, working distance or inert gas volume can be stored using the input window AM Guard. If values drift outside preset limits, the build job is interrupted and restarted after a correction has been made. Reject rates due to process parameters that are not optimal are therefore minimised.
The company states that the AM Evaluator software is an intelligent downstream evaluation tool for 3D process data. It can graphically display stored 3D data from the production process for evaluation purposes. Data from the melt pool analysis, powder flow monitoring and laser power can be analysed individually and compared with each other and with previous build jobs. Automatic generation of reports for quality assurance is available.