DMG MORI to Introduce Its SLM System to North America in November
The company now offers both powder-bed and direct-deposition AM. Its president anticipates widespread use of metal AM within 10 years.
At a meeting with press members at DMG MORI’s US headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, as part of the company’s recent Innovation Days event, company President Masahiko Mori said that the company’s “Realizer” selective laser melting machine will be introduced to the North American market starting with an open house at the company’s Davis, California, facility in November.
DMG MORI, which had already offered machines performing additive manufacturing via direct metal deposition, acquired selective laser melting capability this year through the purchase of a majority interest in Realizer GmbH. Initially, to assure quality, Dr. Mori says new DMG MORI machines based on the powder-bed additive manufacturing capability are being shipped only to users within a few hundred miles of the Realizer factory in Germany. The North American introduction will come after this prove-out is done.
Additive manufacturing has offered “a very good learning curve for us,” Dr. Mori says, citing intricate part geometries and internal conformal cooling channels among the various possibilities AM will enable an increasing number of manufacturers to achieve.
He expects the acceptance of additive to follow a course comparable to that of EDM. That is, the technology will expand beyond early adopters to become not a component of every shop, but widespread enough that its use will be commonplace.
Dr. Mori believes it is reasonable to expect that in 10 years, 10 percent of metalworking machines will be sold with at least some AM capability.
Indeed, in the same way that the expanded use of five-axis machining is the trend in CNC machine tools that he believes has characterized the current decade, he expects that the adoption of CNC machines integrating additive and other capabilities will prove to be the major machine-tool technology trend of the decade of the 2020s.
Why then invest in a company offering a stand-alone AM capability that does not integrate with a machine tool the way that direct metal deposition does?
“Additive parts need machining,” Dr. Mori says. “But that does not mean additive and machining should always be in one package.” In some cases, a much slower cycle time for the additive build might result in inefficient use of the machining capability if this capability is part of the same machine. In such an application, it might make sense for various additive machines to work in tandem with one separate machining center that can serve all of these machines by performing its cutting much more quickly than any of the additive builds.
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