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We are also exploring pathways for the adaptation and further development of existing large scale metal additive technologies to lower barriers-to-entry for complex and remote component repair.

Ideal for manufacturers who produce complex foundry castings, repair of defence assets, remote manufacture or maintenance of key infrastructure components, this solution would enable components to be 3D scanned before a build or repair tool path is automatically generated.

The product

We are researching a prototype of an intelligent robotic metal additive system with integrated sensing and situational awareness.

This may be customised to benefit manufacturers who make and repair castings, precision components or remote infrastructure.

The core technology automated path generation can be applied to many robotic tasks, for example metal and non‑metal additive, or to generate pre-process surface preparation, for example; machining or de-scaling, and post‑process for example; grinding, to complete the automated or assisted task.

The system comprises:

  • a robot holding a metal deposition head such as a cold spray gun, laser head or welding torch
  • machine vision sensors to scan the component surface requiring repair
  • machine vision sensing for situational awareness and collision avoidance
  • a server or cloud- based application to create the tool path based on CAD data, and machine vision of the component and near field
  • sensing to control the metal deposition
  • metal deposition system, power supply and powder or wire feed.

This Automated Robot Tool Path Calculation for Metal Additive Digital Manufacturing and Repair product combines two crucial features for customers.

  1. the ability to scan a component and integrate this information with the robot reference frame and CAD dimensional documentation.
  2. the use of the Continuous3D™ application to automatically generate the robotic tool path for whole component manufacture, or partial repair.

The system is designed to operate in a manufacturing facility or in the field for remote repair.

Proposed benefits

This research is focussed on creating intelligent tools to guide and control robotics, and integrate advanced machine vision, situational awareness, and collision avoidance to deliver a compelling assistive and autonomous solution to complex tasks.

Proposed applications

  • Foundry: Complex castings may include defects which can be certifiably repaired resulting in waste reduction.
  • Defence: Damage to field assets can be quickly and effectively repaired where timely supply of new, replacement parts is lacking.
  • Building and architecture: Use of advanced robotic path planning techniques to make large-scale 3d structures in non‑metallic materials such as concrete and polymers.
  • Mining: Critical infrastructure in remote hostile locations can be repaired on-site and far more quickly than a back‑to‑base approach.
  • Marine: Large assets suffering corrosion and wear and tear can be effectively repaired in-situ.

If this technology application presents as potential for adaptation or integration to your manufacturing processes, or your business has digital integration challenges that we may be able to assist with, we would love to hear from you. Our team is looking for manufacturers interested in evaluating automated robotic tool path generation, and partners with expertise in commercialisation. Contact us via the information below.

CSIRO Future Digital Manufacturing

Dr Peter King

Scientist (Manufacturing)

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