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A KUKA welding robot on display at FABTECH 2019. Image courtesy of Jonathan Alonso, CNC Machines. CHICAGO – More than 40,000 attendees gathered here last week to look at the latest robotics and automation solutions in the metal forming, fabrication, welding and finishing space. The annual FABTECH show is held every two years in Chicago, rotating with other series in the other years. Here are some of the newer robotic and automation trends we discovered while at the show: 3D printing advances 3D printing continues to advance in the types of products it can produce and materials it can use. The technology is preferable to traditional machining for shorter-run applications, lower costs and a more varied production capability. However, traditional machining can produce high-volume products and components more quickly. Formlabs showed off industrial 3D printed examples at FABTECH 2019. Image: Jonathan Alonso, CNC Machines. As 3D printing starts to use more materials, it becomes a more compelling option, attendees said. At the show, BigRep announced four new materials: The PLX material is a general-use, bio-performance filament derived from organic compounds, which is a concept BigRep previously showcased with their eco-screen installation. PLX is most suitable for design and functional prototyping suited in open-environment 3D printing projects. PET-CF adds carbon fiber reinforced material to the company’s line of engineering-grade filament. PET-CF is capable of producing exceptionally strong, stiff parts with a fine surface finish and heat resistance up to 100 degrees Celsius. PA6/66 is a lightweight thermoplastic filament with high rigidity and resistance to heat and chemicals, designed for tooling, patterns, molds and end-use parts. BigRep’s BVOH is a water-soluble support material is designed to removed supports and for post-processing for complex parts. Xometry displayed parts produced with its newest 3D printing process, Carbon DLS, a 3D printing technology that […]
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