DP Technology, Camarillo, California, USA, developer of the ESPRIT CAM system has announced a partnership with Alma, headquartered in Saint-Martin-d’Hères, France, a leading CAD/CAM provider for robotics, to create a complete programming solution for robot Direct Energy Deposition (DED) Additive Manufacturing.
Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) is one of the DED technologies being applied in robot DED to produce the near net shape preforms with significant cost and lead time reductions, increased material efficiency, and improved component performance, explains the company.
Compared to a machine tool-based DED machine, which can cost up to several million dollars, a robotic DED machine costs significantly less (close to $150,000 to $200,000), states ESPIRIT. Additionally, many companies have existing programmable, industrial robots that can be retrofitted for additive DED applications.
However, in order to program a robot to perform an additive DED task, an engineer needs to determine not only the toolpath of the DED head, but also the robot arm movements to efficiently achieve the ideal toolpath.
This solution allows Alma to use the full ESPRIT additive DED cycles such as 3x, 4x, and 5x, bringing the software to a new level of support for additive technology. The solution also allows ESPRIT to support industrial robot brands including Yaskawa, ABB, Fanuc, Kuka, and many others.
The result of this technology partnership is a complete workflow to provide end users with:
- Dedicated additive toolpath planning and programming
- Robot programming, simulation, verification, collision detection, and code generation
- Subtractive finishing process planning, simulation, verification, collision detection, and G-code generation
Through industry collaboration with several key customers and research institutions, the solution between ESPRIT and Alma has been validated in multiple applications and test cuts with various robot brands, explain the companies.