A collaboration between software provider Ai Build and robotics company KUKA Systems UK Ltd. has led to the development of the AMCell_ series; integrated 3D printing systems. The first of three standardized cell iterations is the AMCell_small, designed to enable the academic sector and company training facilities, to learn the basics of automated polymer, 3D printing.
The machine features the KUKA KR AGILUS 10 R900, Ai Build’s additive manufacturing software AiSync, a non-planar extruder head and periphery.
The competent handling of automated, technological products is of paramount importance in practice, in today’s manufacturing environment. The assembly of products is undergoing a revolution, and additive manufacturing is a key driver behind this trend, as it becomes the mass-manufacturing method of choice, as digitally automated workflows replace high volume, serial production techniques.
Tooling, door handles, dashboards and keels are all being produced using 3D printing methods, as manufacturers satisfy both aesthetic and functional considerations.
As demand for additive manufacturing, as a process, has increased, Ai Build has focussed upon the development of its AiSync software that enables the fast, precise and repeatable delivery of, highly efficient, toolpaths using KUKA’s industrial robots. A programme of continuous solution development, that encapsulated machine learning and artificial intelligence, means that today, AiSync customers are able to achieve overall build efficiency gains of a staggering 90% and build failure reductions of 65%.
The AMCell_ series, primarily the next cell generations of _medium and _large shall deliver to manufacturing, in sectors such as automotive and aerospace, a fully autonomous ‘go-to’ solution that will satisfy demand driven additive manufacturing requirements.
“A small-scale, polymer 3D printing package aimed (initially) at the academic sector seemed the perfect fit for KUKA and Ai Build” said Kevin Kolkea, Sales Manager – Robotic Joining and Additive Manufacturing at KUKA. “As an entry level, standardised cell, our skilled 3D printing specialists of tomorrow can be trained in the operation of KUKA robots and become familiar with Ai Build’s additive manufacturing software AiSync and user interfaces.”
The AMCell_small will take the delivery of 3D printing in academia to another level which, typically, has been utilizing computer-aided design (CAD) information to print products via a 3D printer. Technology packages such as the AMCell_ allows for much larger scale projects to be delivered, synergies between creativity and technology to be realised, prototypes can be accelerated and adaptable and scalable processes can be developed for industry.
The fully integrated AMCell_ package will give students the capability to start manufacturing their own products and prototypes whilst institutions save costs on tooling, maintenance and development. AMCell_ maximises the degrees of freedom in the additive manufacturing, plastic extrusion process, using a preconfigured robot and AiSync software to suit individual requirements with small print areas.
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