Hybrid Manufacturing Processes (HMP) can significantly reduce time to customer, waste, and tooling costs per part, while increasing possible part geometric complexity for small batch parts. In the following chapter, HMP is defined by the production of parts produced first with a near-net shape process using methods including: additive manufacturing, casting, injection molding, etc., which is then coupled with multi-axis computer numerical control (CNC) subtractive machining or some other secondary material removal process. Creating process plans for such hybrid manufacturing processes typically takes weeks rather than hours or days. This chapter outlines several hybrid manufacturing processes and the intricacies required to develop process plans for these complex linked processes. A feature-based advanced hybrid manufacturing process planning system (FAH-PS) uses feature-specific geometric, tolerance, and material data inputs to generate automated process plans based on user-specified feature precedence for additive-subtractive hybrid manufacturing. Plans generated by FAH-PS can optimize process plans to minimize tool changes, orientation changes, etc., to improve process times. A case study of additive-subtractive methods for a patient-specific bone plate, demonstrates system capabilities and processing time reductions as compared to the current manual process planning for hybrid manufacturing methodologies. Using the generated FAH-PS process plan resulted in a 35% reduction in machining time from the current hybrid manufacturing strategy.
Part of the book: Mass Production Processes