All Axis Robotics leverages 3D Printer Method to produce Custom Robot Arm End-Effectors

Custom tooling parts are one of the most common applications of 3D Printing in this industry. However, leveraging this technology is often the result of a tough challenge the user could not overcome using other manufacturing processes. Sharing such type of challenge and how 3D printing helps to overcome it is therefore interesting for other professionals and companies that sometimes, face similar situations.

Today, MakerBot revealed how the manufacturing process is happening at All Axis Robotics. The Texas-based machine shop specializes in turnkey custom robot solutions for other machine shops and manufacturing facilities in need of automated machine tending. The company streamlines the manufacturing operations of its clients with robotic arms and custom end-effectors, including those for CNC machine tending, automated part sanding, and brake press machine tending, among others.

In this specific case, the company said the team had to overcome a challenge when adapting collaborative robots and automation in the machine shop. Indeed, their goal was to develop custom parts during the process.

“We would have to develop custom brackets, fixtures, or fingers for the grippers, and not all of this would be possible to produce on CNC machines,” said Gary Kuzmin, CEO, All Axis. “When we purchased the MakerBot METHOD, we automatically obtained all that capability for customizing all these different parts. Within days, we were able to print custom parts for our machines. The relevance of having this machine within our process is that we have a quick turnaround capability to produce custom parts that we can integrate into our systems immediately.”

3D Printing ensures the production and helps to reduce lead times and costs

All Axis Robots has harnessed MakerBot Method. Launched in December 2018, the 3D Printer is said to make industrial 3D Printing accessible for everyone. Users of this printer could turn their CAD files to parts faster by providing a seamless and reliable workflow without tinkering. Not to mention that its dual extrusion system combined with Stratasys® SR-30 soluble support material enable to design the sander as one complex part, lead to a quality surface finish.

Leveraging this solution has helped the Texas-based company to reduce production times from months to hours. Furthermore, for the company, this is a huge step as they upgrade their equipment that increasingly meets the demands of industry 4.0.

Not only was it extremely valuable for us to make on-demand custom parts for what we needed to keep our operations going, but we were able to implement 3D printing for our customers and their needs,” added Kuzmin. “As our engineers realized the capabilities of 3D printing, we were able to create a product line of 3D printed parts for existing customers who had similar challenges.”

For example, All Axis engineers designed and manufactured a custom part sander using MakerBot’s strong and durable real ABS material with the METHOD X. The robot sander automates the time-consuming manual aluminum sanding operation; helping a machine shop to run more efficiently by freeing up personnel for other tasks. It features two sides with different grid sand pads as well as a connection for a vacuum to remove debris.

One of the interesting things about our shop is that right next to our million-dollar machines on the production floor is a MakerBot METHOD, which is about $6,500. And it’s that $6,500 machine that is able to keep our million-dollar machines running automation,” concluded Kuzmin.

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As a technology enthusiast, I have a keen interest in additive manufacturing technologies and their ability to significantly impact production methods in a wide range of sectors. More than aware of the importance of these technologes in the transition towards industry 4.0, I am excited to share with you the latest news and analyses of this industry so that you can leverage any benefits that might result. #StayTuned #3DAdept