Cincinnati Incorporated is set to present its latest technologies including the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine, which sprung into the spotlight when it successfully 3D printed a full-size car last year, at this year’s Fabtech in Chicago.
Developed with Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL), the BAAM machine introduces significant new manufacturing capabilities to a wide range of industries including automotive, aerospace, marine, furniture and much more. The large-scale additive machine with a 6 x 12 x 3 ft. work envelope, uses the chassis, drives and control of CI’s laser cutting system as the base, and extrudes hot thermoplastic to build parts, layer-by-layer.
CI is a technology leader in manufacturing press brakes, shears and laser cutting systems for metal fabricating, as well as big area additive manufacturing. In addition, CI powdered metal compacting presses are the most advanced additive process used for high volume production metal parts. PM presses cost-effectively make high volume production parts that make cars lighter and more efficient.
“We developed and pioneered the use of high-speed linear-motor axis drives on laser cutting systems and now the same technology is taking us into the next generation of machine tools,” Carey Chen, President and CEO of CI, explained. “BAAM is driving a spirit of renewal at CI, as there has been a tremendous response to the machine and the impact it has on manufacturing processes. This sense of rejuvenation also led to a new branding initiative and website (www.e-ci.com), so this is having a positive impact on our entire company.”
The proprietary linear motor drives are capable of reaching accelerations in excess of 2.0G and head positioning speeds of up to 12,000 in./min., to deliver positioning accuracy of ±0.001 in. per axis.
A larger version the BAAM machine, currently at ORNL, has a work envelope of 8 x 20 x 6 ft. and can print polymer components up to 10 times larger and 200 to 500 times faster than existing additive machines. SABIC Innovative Plastics purchased the first BAAM machine and provided the carbon fibre ABS plastic for the famous 3D printed Strati car and will be providing material for BAAM at the Fabtech show. The two companies plan to test a number of materials that will meet the needs of a variety of commercial applications.
The BAAM machine will be on display in booth N-9000 in the Grand Concourse Lobby of the North Hall of Chicago’s McCormick Place, while the South Hall booth will include a new press brake model and video demonstrations of CI’s laser cutting systems, other press brake models, and shears. Fabtech 2015 will take place on 9-12th November.