Wire electrical discharge machining (WEDM) is a mature technology, but GF Machining Solutions - renowned worldwide for its innovative EDM solutions - continues to push the boundaries (and challenge convention) with its new, horizontal CUT AM 500 machine.
The AgieCharmilles CUT AM 500 machine is fast, accurate and automation-ready. It has been designed specifically for the metal additive manufacturing (AM) market and simplifies (and makes more secure) the way that additive manufactured parts are separated from the build plate.
The machine, according to Martin Spencer, GF Machining Solutions UK’s managing director, “makes a significant and valuable contribution to the AM process and provides a more accurate and reliable solution than using standard EDM machines or bandsaws for these operations.”
The CUT AM 500 complements (and can be integrated to) GF Machining Solutions’ and 3D Systems’ scalable, workflow-optimised DMP Factory 500, DMP Flex 350 and DMP Factory 350 3D metal printing machines.
The CUT AM 500 addresses and resolves a number of quality issues encountered by manufacturers who use a bandsaw to separate the workpiece from the build plate.
These issues include geometrical inaccuracy, loss of workpiece material (kerf) and damage to the part. The CUT AM 500 maintains the integrity of the part by avoiding part contamination and damage, advantages that are particularly crucial in risk-averse sectors such as aerospace and medical.
Accommodating parts up to 510mm x 510mm x 510mm (including the base plate) and up to 500kg in weight, the CUT AM 500 uses 0.2mm diameter wire to separate additively manufactured parts from the build platform at a maximum cutting speed of 300 mm2/m.
It delivers ±0.1mm accuracy and surface roughness of less than 6μm. This solution brings together horizontal wire orientation, an integrated basket to carefully catch separated parts and a rotary axis to create a robust process that supports the part, improves part handling, prevents damage to the part, and can be fully automated for increased productivity.
The CUT AM 500’s fast wire technology in combination with the machine’s generator ensures that the process is quick—at least three times faster than when using a standard EDM machine.
Low running costs are assured by the machine’s fast wire technology and double wire spool concept.
The layout of the CUT AM 500 accommodates the integration of a clamping system for easier clamping and referencing, and the facility to move AM parts through different processes before being removed from the build plate.