Mr. Boi, let's get
straight to the point, why has the CHIRON Group developed a 3D metal printer?
The CHIRON Group offers its customers complete solutions from a
single source. Not just machining centers, automation, or – as is the case with
other providers – 3D metal printers. We believe that additive processes
perfectly complement the Group's subtractive ones. We do concentrate on
material removal but our customers also benefit from the extensive expertise we've
built up in metalworking and machining centers for deposition applications. It
therefore makes absolute sense for us to add 3D metal printing to our range.
What exactly is
the AM Cube suitable for – how does it deliver on its promise of being a real all-rounder?
printing is used for small quantities, which means that the system must be
flexible. The AM Cube is designed to manufacture larger components with high
material prices or long procurement times and is therefore suitable for use in
mechanical engineering, tool manufacturing, energy production and the aerospace
industry. What makes it unique and very different from other 3D printers is the
option to change the deposition head while a process
is ongoing. The AM Cube can achieve an excellent result if you need a high
deposition volume and good surface finish for a large, complex workpiece.
What you need to know about the AM Cube in three minutes, 27 seconds:
So, the AM Cube
means that you can combine 3D printing and coating application? Are other combinations
Yes, since the AM Cube has three deposition heads, you can be
completely flexible. It's possible to apply coatings both internally and
externally. You can also change the material with each deposition head. In one phase of production, the laser
metal deposition is wired-based, while the other phase is powder-based. While
this may sound like a simple change, it was extremely challenging to develop.
That's why we've applied for a patent for this technology. This means that our
customers can be sure that they're getting the AM Cube which offers an original
CHIRON Group process.
Deposition head for internal coating, two other heads are in the park position.
In laser metal deposition, a laser beam melts a substrate and this
substrate is metallurgically bonded to the feedstock material. One of the
benefits of this process is that it results in lower thermal loading – it's
also excellent for repairing damage, reinforcing components at selected points
and restoring the original geometry of components by means of material
When should you
use wire or powder as the deposited material?
is excellent for applying coatings, particularly for thin or graduated
layers. Powder is the only option for
internal coatings. On the other hand, some advantages of using wire are that
100% of the feedstock material enters the material structure and the process
enables high deposition rates.
You mentioned the
fact that the Group's experience in metalworking influenced how the system was
developed. Which elements of machining centers can be found in the AM Cube? Is
the 3D metal printer really a »genuine CHIRON« product?
The AM Cube is designed using a Cartesian coordinate system, just like a
conventional machining center. It is programmed either using a standardized DIN
ISO code or, for complex components, using a CAD/CAM software tool from the
Siemens NX toolkit. All aspects of the system can be controlled using
tried-and-tested Siemens components, from hardware to programming of the AM
Cube. The AM Cube is also designed as a platform and can be reconfigured from
three-axis machining to four- or five-axis machining with relatively little
One last question,
what about production and operator safety?
We have to
distinguish between laser safety and occupational safety. To ensure laser
safety, the AM Cube is equipped with a state-of-the-art sensor system and meets
all the important safety requirements without needing to be constantly manned.
If you use powder as the feedstock material, the entire working area is
filtered by suction to prevent operators from being exposed to airborne powder
The highlights at
- 3D printing
deposition head changing
- Wire or powder feedstock material
- 3D printing or coating
- Internal and external coating
- Innovative user interface with TouchLine
- Well-known Siemens control system components
- Programming in DIN ISO or CAM
- Cartesian coordinate system
Want to find out more about the AM Cube and its many talents? Or
are you interested in AM
Coating, a system for coating brake discs?
Visit the CHIRON Group Website for more details.
Or speak directly to Axel Boi, Head of Additive Manufacturing.
Tel. +49 7461 940-3871