Hybrid machines that combine 3D printing with CNC are rapidly growing in popularity. Enter: the LASIMM hybrid machine, offering metal parts, large prints and structures for construction. This device is one of the largest hybrid manufacturing rigs available.
Funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the LASIMM (Large Additive Subtractive Integrated Modular Machine) is a collaborative effort including Autodesk and nine other partners. The project spans companies, universities and research institutions, housing the LASIMM at Loxin’s facilities in Pamplona, Spain.
The machine is a modular configuration which combines an industrial robot arm for printing and a specialised robot for milling. It can print out parts and construction structures up to 6 meters by 2 meters in diameter and up to 2000 kilograms in weight. It offers capabilities additive manufacturing, machining, cold-work, metrology and inspection. The firms have projected 20% reduction in time and cost expenditure, targeting 15% increases in productivity for high-volume additive manufacturing production.
Large-Scale Hybrid Metal Printing
The full project is the result of years of work by Autodesk (serving as lead software designer), five other companies, two universities and two research institutes from all over the world (Belgium, the UK, Denmark, Spain, Germany and Portugal) all collaborating on the LASIMM. The idea of the project is to improve Europe’s industrial competitiveness by improving efficiency, cost-cutting and flexibility.
They will be testing the production of large cantilever beam structures, airplane panels and wind turbine parts. According to projections it can reduce time and cost by 20% as compared to the current additive and subtractive processes. It will also boost productivity by 15% for high-volume additive manufacturing production with more flexible and robust machines. While the machine itself is large, it combines so many processes in one package that it economises work space. It may also lead to localisation for manufacturing spaces creating better opportunities for smaller factories.
Featured image courtesy of Autodesk.