Haute Fabrication, a start-up located in Fort Dodge, Iowa, USA, reports it is launching as an independent supply chain provider and intends to utilise fabrication technology, automation, artificial intelligence, and cross-reality integration, with a focus on lowering the cost of creation and provide a sustainable global supply chain. The company is reported to be bringing its patent-pending technology to a worldwide audience as it enters into the global value-added manufacturing market.
The start-up explains that high-qualityy conventional manufacturing techniques are faced with prohibitive difficulties such as minimum order sizes, material waste, structural flaws and inconsistencies. Other Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) Additive Manufacturing machines are also hampered in numerous ways, explains Haute Fabrication, such as by limited build size, limited mass manufacturing capability, thermal stress cracking, and additional thermal processing follow-up being required.
Haute Fabrication plans to leverage its mass- manufacturing capability to launch a series of new L-PBF AM machines which it believes may be the key to providing a reliable solution to these problems, starting with the HDLS 250 – Minotaur, a hybrid L-PBF machine for customers such as creators, machine shops and labs.
According to Haute Fabrication, the cornerstone of its new technology suite is its development of a series of what are said to be the world’s largest artificial intelligence-controlled Fully Automated Very Large Format Direct Metal Laser Sintering AM machines, with built-in high-temp auto-clave. These large AM machines and robotic processes would reportedly be capable of making a single piece or thousands of pieces of on-demand objects which would otherwise require a large fleet of competitors’ equipment.
The HDLS 250 – Minotaur has a targeted build area of 600 mm x 600 mm x 1000 mm, all of the advanced features of the larger machines, and aims to lower machine costs by 30–50%. In part, this cost reduction will be achieved by removing the need for expensive, proprietary, vendor-locked materials.
The largest AM machine planned by Haute Fabrication will be capable of creating objects up to 27 m2 in size, thought to be fifty-two times larger than can be produced by any existing L-PBF machine. The high-temperature autoclave enables annealing process temperature stability in order to provide thermal processing, prevent stress cracking, voids, micro-fractures and other temperature-based flaws, enabling the highest quality and most durable fabricated products available.
By integrating the company’s DMLS technology with automation and VR programming for robotics engineering, Haute Fabrication is able to bring its value proposition on the basics of manufacturing down to material costs and energy utilisation and remove direct manual labour costs from the equation.
The start-up states that its primary goal is to leverage the competitive advantage created by its automated technology suite and robotisation to provide cost-effective and worry-free on-demand contract fabrication for prototyping, small run and mass-manufacturing, while reducing the need to purchase expensive machines and employ highly specialised support staff.
By using distributed on-demand hybrid Additive mass-Manufacturing and conventional mass-manufacturing techniques, customers are not tied to a set production size or quantity. This is expected to allow inventors, artists, entrepreneurs and large companies to innovate and compete more effectively in today’s global market.