Through industry collaboration with several key customers and research institutions, the solution has been validated in multiple applications and test cuts with various robot brands.

Compared to a machine tool-based DED machine, which can cost up to several million dollars, a robotic DED machine costs significantly less (close to $150,000 to $200,000 USD). Additionally, many companies have existing programmable, industrial robots that can be retrofitted for additive DED applications. However, in order to program a robot to perform an additive DED task, an engineer needs to determine not only the toolpath of the DED head, but also the robot arm movements to efficiently achieve the ideal toolpath.

To provide customers with an end-to-end solution for programming robot additive DED, ESPRIT has been working with Alma to bring the best of the two worlds together—the world’s most advanced toolpath planning in both subtractive and additive areas, and the industry-leading technology in robotics trajectory computation and off-line programming of arc welding robots.

This solution allows Alma to use the full Esprit additive DED cycles, such as 3x, 4x, and 5x, bringing the software to a new level of support for additive technology. On the other hand, the solution allows Esprit to support industrial robot brands including Yaskawa, ABB, Fanuc, Kuka, and many others.

See Machinery's interview with Autodesk's Kelvin Hamilton about DED