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Hybrid 3D Metal Device and Process Optimized for Producing Finished Components

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The 3D Hybrid Metal Printer applies advanced technology using two integrated processes, additive and subtractive, to produce finished metal parts. The CNC controls the deposited metal — additive (MIG welding) and subtractive (machining) — to print metal components that are real-world application ready. These metal components are 3D printed without reducing material properties compared to standard stock verified during the standard-based testing that has been completed. This research also discusses how the 3D hybrid metal printing process compares to current industry metal printing processes. The additive material application process does not have a consistent uniformity when plastic is printed from a 3D plastic printer. When the material is deposited and recognized, the next step is to determine if the applied additive material is correctly deposited. Should another additive or subtractive program be needed to correct a layer? One possible solution to this is the implementation of a touch probe. The touch probe allows the machine to recognize the dimensional shape of the profile and optimizes it based on how much material is applied automatically. Another is using a laser line scanner, and the third is image recognition. This research aims to optimize using machine learning and artificial intelligence during the process, from measurement utilizing or more of these methods, to deliver correct component production without operator intervention. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how 3D Hybrid Metal Printer apply advanced technology to produce finished metal parts.
  • How to use machine learning and artificial intelligence for optimizing the 3D metal printing process.
  • How low-cost high-quality metal components can be produced using hybrid technology.