The new millGrind creep-feed grinding machine with integrated laser metal deposition and milling.
Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies has revealed its contribution to the world’s first hybrid grinding machine, millGrind.
The first machine of its kind on the market was announced at the Paris Air Show last week and sets a new standard for precision by integrating surface and profile grinding with additive manufacturing in a single machine.
Developed in collaboration with Hybrid, millGRIND is a continuous-dress creep-feed grinding machine made by Elb-Schliff WZM GmbH (ELB) and equipped with Ambit laser metal deposition and milling capabilities. The idea for this hybrid machine came from Dr. Markus Stanik who played a critical role in the creation of Hybrid’s world’s first hybrid milling machine tool which was unveiled in 2013.
Dr. Stanik commented: “This millGrind machine offers a new level of flexibility by reducing the number of setups needed to get to finished parts. Webelieve that our customers will benefit from both the ability to add metal and mill features together with precision grinding surfaces and profiles. This multi-tasking machine breaks new ground for time and cost savings and is aimed squarely at aerospace applications.”
Rebuilding the surface using AMBIT™ laser cladding head (left) and in-process finishing via grinding (right).
Dr. Jason Jones, CEO of Hybrid added: “It has been a privilege to join with ELB to produce the world’s first hybrid grinding machine. The ability to automatically change between precision grinding, milling, and AMBIT™ metal deposition sets this machine apart in a class of its own. Perhaps most exciting is that precision ground surface finishes are now achievable in-process on parts made by additive manufacturing.”
Grinding is often considered a more expensiveprocess than milling but when used efficiently it can provide dramatically more cost-effective material removal as well as a superior surface finish, particularly for processing materials that are difficult to machine, such as nickel-based superalloys. The millGrind runs conventional abrasives (corundum) with superabrasive capability and has an XYZ resolution of 1/10th of a micron (0.0001mm). Changeover between grinding wheels can be done in a matter of seconds and the 8,000 RPM spindle can be automatically loaded with milling cutters for drilling, tapping and other milling operations as needed.