Canvas Category Machinery : Industrial Robot : Robot Arm
ATI Industrial Automation is the world-leading engineering-based developer of robotic accessories and robot arm tooling, including Automatic Tool Changers, Multi-Axis Force/Torque Sensing Systems, Utility Couplers, Material Removal Tools, Robotic Collision Sensors, Manual Tool Changers, and Compliance Devices. Our robot end-effector products are found in thousands of successful applications around the world. Since 1989, our team of mechanical, electrical, and software engineers has been developing cost-effective, state-of-the-art end-effector products and solutions that improve robotic productivity.
“They listened to everything we asked for.” – How Toyota helped shape the Stratasys F3300 FDM 3D printer
In the building of the F3300, Stratasys started from scratch rather than riff off the architecture of past FDM systems, integrating a tool changer that allows the user to deploy one of four extruders at a time. Tools can be changed within around 14 seconds, giving the user more flexibility in scenarios of extruder redundancy – one extruder can pick up the slack of another that has broken down – while also allowing them to print multiple colours in one part and even incorporate two different resolutions too. That latter feature was one Stratasys had been looking to achieve from the very beginning.
Stratasys went to the industrial leader in tool changer manufacture, ATI, and commissioned the company to build a custom product for the F3300. Since Stratasys expects users to do multiple tool changes in a build, they needed repeatability, reliability, and accuracy in the XY dimensions.
Per Martin, Stratasys’ tool changer is delivering on the promise. Martin works in Toyota’s TILT Lab and is responsible for delivering tooling, jigs, and fixture applications to his colleagues on the production lines. Around 5,000 cars come off these production lines every day, with Toyota harnessing FDM technology to produce manufacturing aids in materials such as PA12 CF and ULTEM 9085. Martin estimates the F3300 to be between 46-50% faster while maintaining the same resolution and accuracy as the F900.
Concept Prove-Outs Prove Their Worth in Robotic Finishing
During shop visits, Modern Machine Shop editors have gotten used to seeing rows of people huddled over benches with spotlights, scopes and hand tools. In fact, the sight is so common that the odd juxtaposition of tedious manual work and sophisticated, automated CNC machining processes can be easy to overlook.
Different automated material removal applications teach similar lessons about the value of early testing, close collaboration and adventurous thinking.