WEDM is a mature technology, but GF Machining Solutions says it continues to push the boundaries with its latest horizontal Cut AM 500, which has been designed to be fast, accurate and automation-ready. The machine is specifically intended for the metal AM market and simplifies the way that additive manufactured parts are separated from build plates.

Martin Spencer, GF Machining Solutions UK’s managing director, says: “The machine makes a significant and valuable contribution to the AM process, and provides a more accurate and reliable solution than using standard EDM machines or bandsaws for these operations.”

The Cut AM 500 complements (and can be integrated with) GF Machining Solutions’ and 3D Systems’ DMP Factory 500, DMP Flex 350 and DMP Factory 350 3D metal printing machines. Notably, the machine is said to address and resolve a number of quality issues encountered by manufacturers that use a bandsaw to separate the workpiece from the build plate. Such issues include geometrical inaccuracy, loss of workpiece material (kerf) and damage to the part. The Cut AM 500 maintains the integrity of the part by avoiding part contamination and damage; advantages that are particularly crucial in risk-averse sectors such as aerospace and medical.

Accommodating parts up to 510 by 510 by 510 mm (including the base plate), and up to 500 kg in weight, the Cut AM 500 uses 0.2 mm diameter wire to separate parts at cutting speeds up to 300 mm2/m. The machine delivers ±0.1 mm accuracy and a surface roughness of less than 6 micron.

This solution brings together horizontal wire orientation, an integrated basket to catch separated parts, and a rotary axis to create a robust process that supports the component, improves part handling, prevents damage and can be fully automated for increased productivity.

The Cut AM 500’s fast-wire technology, in combination with the machine’s generator, ensures that the process is quick – at least three times faster than when using a standard EDM machine, says the company. In addition, fast-wire technology and the double wire spool concept ensure low running costs.

From a design perspective, the layout of the Cut AM 500 accommodates the integration of a clamping system for easier clamping and referencing, and the facility to move AM parts through different processes before being removed from the build plate.