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Automation Cell Combines Additive Manufacturing with Robotics, Subtractive Processes

At the recent RAPID + tct Show, Methods Machine Tools, Inc. showcased a cell solution designed to make production increases in 3-D manufacturing throughput. The automation cell combines additive manufacturing with robotics and subtractive processes, providing fast, highly efficient finished 3-D part production.

"We are really excited about this full production cell which addresses how manufacturers can successfully integrate necessary post-process machining operations in a high productivity, end-to-end solution," said Methods 3D Inc. General Manager Benjamin Fisk.

The 20-foot Methods cell includes a 3-D-printed product in-feeding station, which shuttles 3-D parts on build plates into a FANUC C600 EDM machine that makes a cut between the parts and build plates. In the next station a FANUC robot snaps the 3-D printed parts from the plates and transfers the parts to a FANUC RoboDrill for a final machining operation.

"This automated lights-out manufacturing cell was designed to drastically reduce the total time to complete parts from 3-D printing to final post-processing," added John Lucier, National Automation Manager at Methods Machine Tools, Inc. "It can easily quadruple total part throughput while eliminating manual labor."

"The cell demonstrates Methods' strength in designing innovative automation solutions for both additive and traditional manufacturing," said a company spokesperson. Methods automation builds flexible automation systems for customers throughout North America, utilizing robotics and a full range of precision machine tools.

For more information contact:

John Lucier

National Automation Manager

Methods Machine Tools, Inc.


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