Abstract

Applications of hybrid technology are expanding from refurbishment and repair to low quantity, specialty part production, which are staple characteristics in medical implant, energy, and aerospace industry sectors, among others. This expansion has led to the development of the Mazak VC-500A/5X AM HWD, a wire fed laser cladding unit equipped with a standard 5 axis CNC. This unit is capable of building near net geometry of complex medium to large parts within a profitable timeframe, due to its comparatively high rate of deposition to that of a powder fed hybrid system. In this study, deposition and machining capabilities of the VC-500A/5X AM HWD are assessed through the production of three different test geometries by different process plans. Production of these test geometries is supported by an open loop sensor package primarily for monitoring machine health, data collection, and machine operator aid. The viability of extended deposition followed by machining is evaluated against a more cyclical strategy of reoccurring deposition and machining operations. Lastly, common defects in as-built geometries are evaluated and addressed through revisions to original process plans and toolpaths, indicating the need for continued innovation in hybrid manufacturing specific CAM/CAD software, as well as closed loop machine monitoring and quality control.

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