Accelerate: Nov/Dec 2013
Five-Axis Machine for Fast Part Production
The VARIAXIS j-600 5X vertical machining center from built by Mazak (mazakusa.com) can produce parts in a single setup—from raw stock to finish machining—which means faster production..
The VARIAXIS j-600 5X comes standard with a 12,000-rpm, 15-hp, CAT-40 milling spindle; an optional 18,000-rpm spindle is available. A front-loading, ergonomic 18-tool magazine allows for fast tool changes to keep spindles in the cut and help reduce cycle times.
Non-cut times are reduced thanks to a 1,181-ipm rapid traverse rate in the X, Y and Z axes, while the high-precision rotary/tilt table provides a B-axis rotation of -120° to 90° and a C-axis rotation of 360°, both in increments as small as 0.0001°. If the B-axis is rotated 30° or more, the user doesn’t have to reverse the C-axis 180°, providing improved accuracy and productivity. Machine travels measure: 33.46 in. x 21.65 in. x 20.07 in. for the X, Y and Z axes, respectively.
The table accommodates workpieces 28.74-in. wide and 17.7-in. high. An optional, two-pallet changer provides simple automation, and allows loading and unloading while the machine works uninterrupted.
An enhanced MATRIX 2 CNC control includes Mazak’s Intelligent Machine Functions software to monitor spindle status and alert the user of any necessary maintenance, thereby assuring optimal uptime.
Improved 3D Printing Material for Thin Walls, Sharp Edges
Small parts with rigid, sharp edges can present challenges for 3D printers, but a new plastic material is designed to help improve fidelity and stability when printing thin-walled pieces.
Stratasys’ (stratasys.com) latest digital thermoplastic 3D printing material allows users to produce thin-walled models with sharp edges while retaining high dimensional stability.
This digital acrylonitrile butadiene styrene material (ABS), Digital ABS2, is the second generation of ABS formulated for Stratasys PolyJet 3D printers. The rigidity of the material is suited for printing cores and cavities for low-volume injection molding applications, and provides an improved ability to 3D print smaller parts such as pins and other features.
Stratasys Polyjet digital materials are composites created by simultaneously jetting two distinct PolyJet materials. The combination in specific concentrations and structures provides unique mechanical properties to produce a closer look, feel and function to the end-product, according to the company.
A remote control 3D printed using Stratasys’ latest Digital ABS2 material, which allows users to make smaller parts with greater dimensional stability.