Last week, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Arevo Labs introduced its scalable Robot-based Additive Manufacturing Platform (RAMP) – a first-of-its-kind manufacturing platform for composite parts.

“We are excited to be the first to develop a robot based additive manufacturing platform optimized for composite parts,” said Hemant Bheda, CEO and founder of Arevo Labs. “Unencumbered by the constraints of conventional Cartesian systems, this platform is the dawn of the additive manufacturing work cell for the aerospace and defense factory-of-the-future.”

According to a November 16 press release from Arevo Labs, the platform’s multi-axis toolpaths can, for the first time, create production quality parts constructed with actual 3-D surfaces in variable orientations. The resulting parts, they add, have better strength and aesthetics than those made with traditional Cartesian-based additive manufacturing equipment and software.

Arevo’s platform is designed to be used in conjunction with ABB Group’s smallest 6-axis robot, the IRB 120. However, the scalable software can support larger ABB Group robot models and sizes. The additive end-effector hardware consists of a deposition head with advanced thermal management technology for processing high-performance carbon-fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRT) materials.

“Our ABB IRB120 robot is perfectly suited for the Additive Manufacturing Platform, offering the high precision and repeatability required for 3-D printed parts for end-use applications,” said Nicolas De Keijser, new applications business line manager at ABB. “We are glad to see ABB’s robot performance and capabilities being fully utilized with Arevo Labs’ software in printing true 3D surfaces.”

The RAMP interfaces with ABB’s RobotStudio™ programming and simulation software to facilitate tool path generation from computer-aided design (CAD) files. Arevo’s software suite includes:

  • CAM software to convert CAD models to a set of additive deposition instructions for the robot. The software is capable of six degrees of freedom, enabling true 3D additive manufacturing.
  • A precise kinematics simulator that interprets deposition instructions to validate and optimize part construction.

To see the technology in action, watch the video below: