By Mark Norfolk on Thursday, January 8th, 2015
This month, Fabrisonic was highlighted in an article in Cutting Tool Engineering. In the article, Alan Richter talks about several new metal 3D printers that have both an additive and a subtractive tool set. For instance, Fabrisonic’s SonicLayer series of metal 3D printers has a metal print head as well as a CNC spindle. This allows the additive material to be printed near net shape, but then the CNC is used to mill the part to the exact shape needed. This allows for much higher precision and higher surface finish. Several companies are adapting other metal 3D printing technologies, such as laser sintering, to include a CNC mill for the same reasons.
In addition to the hybrid nature of Fabrisonic’s technology, Ultrasonic Additive Manufacturing happens without melting (near room temperature). The solid-state nature of the ultrasonic bonding permits joining of dissimilar metals without the formation of brittle inter-metallics as seen in fusion processes. Thus Fabrisonic can print several metals in the same part without degradation seen in fusion of multiple metals.