Oct 29, 2015 Off Comments in Laser Cutting by

Just as hybrids are ushering in a smooth and steady transition to a more efficient and ecological driving experience, the same approach is bringing big changes to industrial manufacturing—especially in the use of lasers. While laser metal additive manufacturing has clear benefits, there are still a number of factors preventing its full adoption for industrial use. This article will discuss some of those barriers and the technological advances being made to break them down to accelerate the adoption of laser metal additive manufacturing.

Gaining steam in the industry is a hybrid approach that combines the advantages of traditional CNC subtractive machine tools with laser metal additive manufacturing. Integrating these two technologies by upgrading an existing machine tool has many promising benefits. The machinist gains access to laser metal additive technology without disrupting subtractive machining or changing the size of the footprint required on the production floor. This approach significantly lowers the adoption cost of laser metal additive technology by retrofitting an existing machine, as well as in training time by using a human machine interface (HMI) familiar to the machinist. Cost can be further minimized by using a laser additive manufacturing approach that uses off the shelf materials available from commercial suppliers. Indeed, users of a hybrid system can have the best of both worlds—the familiarity of a conventional subtractive machine tool plus the benefits of new additive manufacturing capabilities, including building complete metal components or adding 3D structures onto conventionally manufactured components or even restoring worn or damaged parts all on the same machine tool

Read more: Cleveland Ohio Laser Cutting: Hybrids accelerate adoption of laser additive manufacturing