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Streamlining the Production Process with Phillips Opto

Hybrid FAQs

1. Is additive manufacturing the same as 3D printing?

3D printing is technically a subset of Additive Manufacturing, an umbrella term that also includes some sculpting and welding machining. Additive Manufacturing consists of any process that increases the mass of a part. Processes like manual welding can be considered Additive Manufacturing, but not 3D printing. That is until you incorporate the welding process with a robot or CNC to deposit the material in a layer-by-layer process. When talking about 3D printing, the term Additive Manufacturing is quite often used synonymously. 

2. Main components of hybrid manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing with subtractive manufacturing, in an all-in-one machine. An additive and subtractive process are the two main components of the Hybrid manufacturing process. With the Phillips Hybrid, we can go between laser welding and machining almost indefinitely. 

3. Why is there a need for hybrid manufacturing technologies?

Hybrid manufacturing technologies have several advantages:
  • Cutting down on material costs
  • Combining various metals
  • Switching seamlessly between additive and subtractive machining, freeing up production space and speeding up the overall process
  • Reducing cycle times
  • Creating previously unmachinable internal passages
  • Greatly reducing the time it typically takes for the repair process

4. What materials have you successfully printed?

Our machines can use nearly any weldable metal material for printing – in both wire and powder forms – except for reactive powders (aluminum, magnesium, and titanium, for example).

5. What is the minimum wall thickness that I will be able to achieve?

A typical minimal single wall thickness is around .080” (2mm). However, this is dependent on wire diameter, material type, and laser power.

6. What wire diameters can I use?

We recommend using .045” (1.15mm) welding wire diameter since it is commercially available for most materials in the United States and is less susceptible to bending than thinner wire. It is critical the wire needs to remain straight to avoid curling out of the melt pool. To support a variety of materials and applications, the system can use wire diameters from .030” to .050” (.75mm to 1.25mm). 

7. Is there post processing required for additive parts? 

Typically to achieve the required tolerances, we recommend overbuilding during the additive process, followed by machining to achieve the desired surface finish and size. To remove fully printed parts from a build plate, a bandsaw or Wire EDM can be used. Heat treatment can also be required depending on the internal stress of the material, how much weld material was deposited, and the required hardness post welding.  

8. What process shielding gases can I use?

We have used argon as the shielding gas on all materials printed to date. However, using nitrogen and nitrogen argon mixtures may reduce the operational cost for materials like stainless steel. We are currently working on developing material parameter sets using nitrogen for those applicable materials.

9. What is the process gas consumption rate? 

We have found that for most applications, the gas consumption flowrates are between 10 to 15 L/min.

10. What other operating costs are involved for additive manufacturing? 

The two biggest operating costs are shielding gas and welding wire. While not a cost driving factor, consumables such as the copper wire nozzle do have to be replaced periodically.  

11. What is the tolerance of a printed part? 

Tolerances for printed parts are based upon the build strategy, geometry, and deposition rate. While we can achieve +/- .010” on features, most of the time it is faster to avoid using perimeter passes. We recommend overbuilding by .030,” ensuring there is material for post-process machining for the most accurate manufacturing. Machined parts will always be more accurate and have a better surface finish as opposed to a printed part 

12. What is the printed layer height for solids and single walls?

Our parameter sets are developed for around .040” (1mm) layer height for solids and around .020” (.5mm) for single walls.

13. Can I also print using metal powder? 

While our systems do support non-reactive metal powders, we do not recommend using metal powder feedstock inside a machine tool. Our systems were designed purposefully to use commercially available welding wire. This keeps operating costs down, and maintains full utilization of feedstock and high deposition rates.  

Metal powder presents additional concerns for handling and extraction inside a machine tool. If metal powder is required for an application, we recommend using a robot setup to avoid machine tool contamination.  

Phillips Additive Hybrid product by Haas

Benefit from both additive and subtractive technologies with Phillips Additive Hybrid, powered by Haas. By combining the innovative laser metal Directed Energy Deposition (DED) technology of Meltio and world-renowned Haas CNC vertical machining centers, you get the best value additive hybrid machines on the market!

Phillips Additive Hybrid, powered by Haas
Ask Jason