Tuesday’s marvels of engineering: Chiron Develops LMD 3D Metal Printer
Source: Chiron

Chiron enters the metal additive manufacturing market with its AM Cube, which can change deposition heads during active processes, utilizing different feedstocks for different purposes.

The Chiron Group has developed the Chiron AM Cube, a metal additive manufacturing solution utilizing laser metal deposition.

“The Additive Manufacturing department is a start-up within our own business group,” says Axel Boi, head of additive manufacturing at Chiron. “With this 3D metal printer, 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.”

The Chiron AM Cube is suitable for coating and repairing components up to 500 mm in size, for cylindrical components up to a meter long and for the near-net-shape production of semi-finished products. The printer can be provided with up to 3 deposition heads with patented, hardwired energy, material and data supply.

The modular design permits three-, four- or five-axis versions of the AM Cube. Maximum workpiece dimensions are 1,000 x 400 x 500 mm for three-axis machines, 300 mm in diameter x 1,000 mm for four-axis machines; and 500 mm in diameter x 500 mm for five-axis machines.

One of the Chiron AM Cube’s signature features is that users can change the deposition head during an active printing and coating process. This enables users to fulfill different process requirements on a single workpiece, with one deposition head for a high-quality surface finish and another for a high-deposition volume. As part of this change, the AM Cube enables users to switch between wire and powder feedstock material between phases of the same manufacturing process.

Chiron’s AM Cube uses a conventional, Cartesian coordinate system. The system uses standardized DIN ISO codes for simple parts, with complex components using a CAD/CAM software tool. Chiron has used Siemens components for hardware, the HMI and programming.