Team – We are the world’s most experienced team for creating hybrid systems. We pioneered the world’s first DED and ME systems for CNC machines.
Most effective technology – Our unique approach using interchangeable heads enables the best tool for the job to be used for each feature. Avoid compromising with multiple technologies.
Intellectual Property – We have a potent patent portfolio in the hybrid manufacturing space that protects our unique products.
AMBIT™ is a synonym for spectrum or range. We are broadening the spectrum of capabilities in a single setup so we have registered this as a trade name in the US, UK, and other territories.
Yes, our systems are routinely used in 24/7 production – just ask our customers. We also have installed systems running for nearly a decade (the longest anywhere).
Hybrid manufacturing is a way of automating multiple processes selected from adding, subtracting, and inspecting. Application areas include:
Coatings – applying surface or edge coatings
Repair – repairing metal parts
Features – adding features to metal, polymer, or composite parts
Parts – grow parts from scratch or on top of a part or preform prepared by another manufacturing technique.
Most parts made by additive manufacturing have rough surfaces and need finishing “post-processing” operations to improve their surface finish (e.g. milling, grinding, or polishing, etc.). Combining CNC and additive allows component fabrication and surface finishing to be achieved in a single setup. This includes the ability to alternate between milling and deposition to finish internal features while there is still access them.
Yes, multiple heads are often used in AMBIT™ hybrid manufacturing systems. The growing range of AMBIT™ processing heads can be used to address different geometries, energy sources, feedstock forms and sensing to support tasks including: 3D deposition, cladding, marking, cutting, drilling, pre-heating, annealing/stress relieving, surface re-melting, cleaning, surface inspection, shallow subsurface inspection, and deep subsurface inspection, etc.
Here is an explanation of the AMBIT™ product lines:
For Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing:
AMBIT™ LMD for laser metal deposition with powder and wire feedstock
- AMBIT™ ONE
- AMBIT™ MULTI
- AMBIT™ FLEX
AMBIT™ XTRUDE for polymer and composite extrusion from pellet feedstock
AMBIT™ NFUSE for syringe pump extrusion
AMBIT™ LASE for laser drilling, cutting, & marking
AMBIT™ EDDY for eddy current inspection
AMBIT™ SCAN for laser line scanning of geometry
AMBIT™ WAVE for ultrasound inspection (air and water-coupled)
The AMBIT™ system does not have a limit to the number of heads. However, available space in the machine’s tool changer or other practical considerations typically limit systems to less than 10 heads (not including traditional milling tools).
Data Handling and Quality Assurance
All of the processing heads are integrated so that their functions can be controlled from the machine tool or robot controller.
AMBIT™ systems have pre-process, in-process, and in situ post-process methods of ensuring part quality. Active monitoring of environmental conditions, actual process parameters, and process signatures are displayed real-time for the operator and can be logged for part documentation.
Some examples of this include:
· Automated laser power checking just before and after processing
· In-process temperature and melt pool closed-loop control
· Post-deposition inspection of parts using eddy current probes
Additionally, the user can command inspection steps mid-build to assure quality for internal features, which is otherwise impractical or impossible to evaluate.
Yes, AMBIT™ Core control systems are edge computing and gateway devices that can log locally and stream out all significant process parameters and signatures via OPC-UA.
Hybrid Machine Architectures
AMBIT™ technology has been installed on all of the following:
· CNC machine tools (including verticals, universals, & mill-turns)
· Parallel Kinematic machines (hexapods, etc.)
· Robotic platforms
AMBIT™ technology has been optimized into the following three types of integrations:
AMBIT™ FLEX – For work on spindle centerline with maximum flexibility. Multiple types of processing heads can be stored in the tool magazine. This is ideal for machine tools that use 40-taper/HSK 63a sized tools or larger. This solution is highly recommended for 4 and 5-axis CNC machines.
AMBIT™ ONE – This system is for using one head offset from the spindle. The head stores in a coolant-resistant enclosure and can be deployed on demand as needed. It is ideal for dedicated production applications.
AMBIT™ MULTI – This system supports multiple heads and fits on multiple platforms including machine tools, gantries and robots. When installed in machine tools the heads operate offset from the spindle.
AMBIT™ MultiR – This is a variant of the MULTI that is lightweight for use on robots. All heads on the MULTI and MultiR systems are interchangeable.
Fully guarded machines with a vertical spindle are the simplest to integrate with and are the most common. Please be aware that for laser safety purposes, machine guarding must be upgraded to be light-tight.
No, patented AMBIT™ systems do not compromise milling quality or significantly encroach upon the CNC working area. CNC machines make ideal platforms for additive manufacturing, which typically yield superior repeatability and dynamic accuracy compared to other platforms.
Turnkey hybrid CNCs featuring AMBIT™ systems are available from Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies and their OEM machine tool builder partners.
Furthermore, many of the AMBIT™ products can be installed on machines already in the field.
Yes, the storage of the AMBIT™ multi-task tool heads in the tool changer (which is typically outside of the working area of the machine) enables use of all types of coolant during machining operations.
New metal deposition normally requires a clean dry build surface in order to achieve a full metallurgical bond. Oily coolant residue on the build surface can inhibit bonding and introduce defects. Depending on the composition of the coolant, an air blast/air knife is suitable to blow the surface dry to prepare it for deposition. With other types of coolant, this may be done in combination with area pre-heating/cleaning using a de-focused laser to vaporize coolant residuals. Other alternatives include surface preparation with a dry “skim” pass using a milling cutter; or the use of CO2 (dry) coolant, which does not normally leave any residue.
Adding Metal with Laser Metal Deposition (LMD)
Most often AMBIT™ systems are used to deposit powders that are difficult to machine. This includes: Nickel-based super alloys, stainless and tool steels, cobalt alloys (including Stellite®, aluminum bronze, etc. AMBIT™ LMD systems can use nearly any weld-able metal with the exception that explosive powders (such as aluminum, magnesium, and titanium) should be used as wire feedstock.
The nature of your desired application will guide this decision. Powder comes in wider composition options including some materials that are too hard to draw into wire. Wire can be more cost-effective for some materials and has fewer safety considerations for handling.
We recommend using powder that is 45-90 or 45-106 microns in diameter. We recommend using wire that is up to 1.1mm (~0.045”) diameter.
The AMBIT™ MULTI is suitable for laser powers up to 8kW.
The AMBIT™ FLEX and ONE are suitable for laser powers up to 1.5kW.
The AMBIT™ metal deposition products can be used in virtually any CNC mill, gantry, or robot, so the dimensions are limited only by the size of the machine they are installed into.
Turnkey systems can be installed in ~1 week.
Field installation or retrofits are typically ~2 weeks, depending on your machine.
A wide variety of CAM solutions can be used for hybrid systems including:
· Autodesk Fusion360
· Autodesk PowerMILL
· CAMWorks (in Solidworks)
· EdgeCAM, Esprit Additive Suite
· Mayka Expert
· Siemens NX
For OEM machine builders
Since the beginning of the hybrid manufacturing industry, we have pioneering practical robust systems and collaborated with the world’s premiere machine tool builders and robotics providers. We welcome inquiries for collaboration.
For Processing Head or Sensor Technology Providers
A variety of the AMBIT™ heads incorporate sensors, probes, and other devices from third parties. We welcome contact from technology companies who desire a practical method for deploying and controlling your technology with machine tools or robots.