Best New Tech Demos at IMTS 2014
By Michael Solack on Thursday, October 9th, 2014
I had the opportunity to attend the 2014 IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show) in Chicago thanks to EWI’s involvement in the new venture Acoustech Systems. IMTS is a major trade show for any company that manufactures machine tools, CNC machines, production robotics, and more. From the tiniest drill bits to CNC machines the size of some apartments, one could see them all at IMTS. Attendees come from all over to find the latest and greatest tools and machines for their production facility. I attended to see the results of our hard work on the Acoustech Machining system, on display for industry leaders to marvel over. While not at the Acoustech exhibit, I walked the show floor checking out the cutting edge technology on display. The following is a sample of my favorite tech demos from IMTS .
The 3D printed car
Arizona car manufacturer Local Motors was able to 3D print and assemble an entire working car live, start to finish, in front of attendees during the six days of IMTS. The last car to be 3D printed took a couple months. Unfortunately, I only attended IMTS the first day when the car consisted only of a few hunks of plastic. To read more and see it drive check out: http://3dprint.com/15139/local-motors-3d-printed-strati/
The Robot programed by motion
Created by Rethink Robotics, Baxter is a person sized, two armed, production robot. While most robotics requires complex programming and hours of planning to encode a series of motions, Baxter is programmed by hand through direct manipulation of its appendages. It learns tasks by movement instead of code! If you find this interesting, check out: http://www.rethinkrobotics.com/
Additive and subtractive manufacturing in one machine
The Lasertec 65 3D is an integrated machine, able to create complex parts that are impossible to machine from a single block of material without interference. It is a hybrid of a five-axis CNC milling machine and additive manufacturing via metal powder deposition. It can exchange its mill head with a laser array tool head attached to a nozzle. As the nozzle shoots metal powder through the laser array, it fuses onto the work along the path of the CNC controlled head. It can build up a surface, finish it, drill holes, and then build up new surfaces. Take a look at: http://us.dmgmori.com/products/lasertec/lasertec-additivemanufacturing/lasertec-65-3d
Be sure to check out the amazing Acoustech Machining technology, designed to vastly enhance metalworking capabilities of machining systems through the application of high power ultrasonics. All of us at EWI involved in the Acoustech project had our noses to the grindstone, making sure our latest and greatest was ready for demonstration at IMTS. It was rewarding to see that hard work come to fruition as my fellow employees showcased for the first time the ultrasonic drilling system EWI developed for Acoustech. To learn more about Acoustech Systems, visit http://www.acoustechsystems.com/ or contact Matt Short (firstname.lastname@example.org or 614.688.5266).