Chiron enters AM with new metal 3D printer

The Chiron Group, a global manufacturer of CNC equipment, has made its first foray into the world of additive manufacturing with the development of its first 3D printer, the AM Cube, a laser metal deposition (LMD) system.

Designed for manufacturing large and complex components, the AM Cube expands upon the company’s existing core competencies that focus on metal machining and automation. Targeting applications in aerospace, energy and more, the system is also capable of 3D printing near net shape parts, as well as coating and repairing components.

With the inclusion of additive manufacturing technology within its product portfolio, Chiron aims to provide a complete package of manufacturing solutions. Furthermore, Chiron has established an Additive Manufacturing department to take over the 3D printing side of the business:

“The Additive Manufacturing department is a start-up within our own business group,” explains Axel Boi, Head of Additive Manufacturing at the Chiron Group. “With this 3D metal printer, made by Chiron, we are creating a facility for manufacturing larger components with long procurement times and high material prices.”

Chiron has designed the AM Cube so that the print head can be changed during an active printing or coating process. In doing so, the company aims to enable users to leverage different process requirements. For example, one print head could be used to achieve a high surface quality, whereas another could be used to establish a high deposition rate. Equipped with an automatic head change function with three different print heads, the AM Cube can facilitate a combination of these properties within a single workpiece.

Wire and powder laser metal deposition
An LMD system, the AM Cube can be used with both wire and powder feedstock, using Chiron’s patented technology. By enabling the use of both materials, the company aims to facilitate different applications for the system. Chiron explains that while coating with powder is the most commonly used process, users may prefer to use wire-based LMD in instances where better safety characteristics and a reduction in waste material is required.

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