Representing a new breed of vertically integrated hybrid manufacturing firms, KAM specializes in the design and production of 3D-printed metal parts that are then finish-machined on a fleet of high-end CNC machine tools. It’s demanding, difficult work that is compounded by the fact that any mistake can undo weeks of laser bed fusion manufacturing and cost tens of thousands of dollars in material and machine time.

The process plan for any part starts by creating the 3D printing job or “build” in Materialise Magics software, simulating it in Netfabb Ultimate and then releasing it for 3D printing. After thermal processing, the printed job moves to the machining area. It’s here that KAM uses Vericut to simulate the NX-generated part program, checking for gouges, uncut material and collisions.

“You need to strategically look at how you are aligning and then probing the part to make sure that the features you’re machining end up in the right place,” O’Toole says. “We use Vericut here as well, to simulate our probing macros. Not only does it help us to ensure that the first part is a good part, but it helps us to reduce our setup times, eliminate broke tools and prevent crashes.”

Read the full article at Modern Machine Shop here.

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