All Axis Robotics Manufactures Custom Robot Arm End-Effectors with MakerBot METHOD
Turnkey robotics provider reduces lead times and costs while increasing production efficiency with in-house 3D printing solutions
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All Axis Robotics is a
“One of the challenges we faced when adapting our collaborative robots and automation in the machine shop was the need to develop custom parts during the process. We would have to develop custom brackets, fixtures, or fingers for the grippers, and not all of this would be possible to produce on CNC machines,” said
The engineering team at All Axis uses 3D printing to produce custom tooling parts—reducing lead times from months to hours for their bespoke robot end-effector designs. This ability to create custom solutions for customers—combined with rapid turnaround times—has helped All Axis gain a competitive advantage against competitors as more manufacturing facilities upgrade new and legacy equipment to meet the increasing demands of industry 4.0 and the modern global marketplace.
“Not only was it extremely valuable for us to make on-demand custom parts for what we needed to keep our operations going, but we were able to implement 3D printing for our customers and their needs,” added Kuzmin. “As our engineers realized the capabilities of 3D printing, we were able to create a product line of 3D printed parts for existing customers who had similar challenges.”
For example, All Axis engineers designed and manufactured a custom part sander using MakerBot’s strong and durable real ABS material with the METHOD X. The robot sander automates the time-consuming manual aluminum sanding operation; helping a machine shop to run more efficiently by freeing up personnel for other tasks. It features two sides with different grid sand pads as well as a connection for a vacuum to remove debris.
By producing the part with an in-house METHOD printer, the team was able to eliminate undesirable factors typical of traditional manufacturing processes, including expensive machinist time and material costs. And by approaching the part design through the lens of freeform additive manufacturing, the engineers were able to 3D model the part quickly without having to account for complex assembly considerations typical of traditional manufacturing processes.
The ability to print with Stratasys® SR-30 soluble support material allowed the engineers to design the sander as one complex part, which would’ve been impossible to machine using traditional manufacturing methods. METHOD’s dimensional accuracy ensured that the part mated perfectly with the robot arm on the first try. The use of production-grade ABS printed in the 100°C heated chamber produced a very strong and durable tool capable of withstanding the harsh machine shop environment.
“All Axis Robotics is a prime example of a customer who has embraced the possibilities of additive manufacturing to remain competitive in today’s environment,” added
“One of the interesting things about our shop is that right next to our million-dollar machines on the production floor is a MakerBot METHOD, which is about
To learn more about All Axis Robotics, visit www.allaxisrobotics.com/.
Learn more about MakerBot METHOD at www.makerbot.com/method.
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