MX3D has printed an optimized industrial robot arm. The robot arm is designed by engineers of Altair for a robot supplied by ABB. This project is an application of large-scale 3D metal printing for Heavy Equipment Parts with the goal to customize and optimize the robot arm for operational requirements and conditions. It shows the potential of Generative Design Customization and a Digital Twin Design approach to increase productivity for tailored robotic applications. The stainless steel robot arm is fully 3D printed via Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) at >50% reduced weight than the original part.
The robot arm is fully 3D printed in stainless steel using an advanced version of MX3D’s WAAM technology. This technology features advanced geometry processing which allows complex organic geometries to be printed upright. Intelligent algorithms also determine the optimal printing strategy and toolpath direction for each geometry feature, ensuring the part is built up efficiently. While the original part was 150 kg, the generative robot arm weighs only 73 kg, resulting in >50% material weight reduction. With 24/7 production, the print can be performed in 4 days. The part is finished by a standard 3-axis milling machine to achieve the right tolerances at the connecting points. After the successful print, the joint partners now intend to re-assemble the complete robot.
The goal of the joint project was to enable the manufacturing of customized replacement parts. This allows for a rapid and automated production of large-scale parts that normally required extensive tooling and overseas production, causing long lead times and limited customisation options.
Interested in having a specific heavy equipment part to be printed and/or optimized? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for enquiries.
In 2020 Q1, a more advanced beta version of MX3D’s proprietary software MetalXL will be available to selected customers to start printing large-scale metals themselves in-house. To nominate yourself for using future beta releases, reach out to email@example.com.