NX AM Multi-Axis

Provides the solutions necessary to setup and drive multi-axis and hybrid additive machines.

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Model of a multi-axis additive manufacturing system.

Why NX AM Multi-Axis?

Driving multi-axis additive hardware takes special software. Normal planar 3D-print products cannot generate the complex 3D deposition paths required for multi-axis 3D printing. This is where the NX Additive Manufacturing (AM) Multi-Axis solution is key.

Create complex, 3D deposition paths
Drive complex deposition paths for multi-axis hardware using a combination of proven pre-programmed deposition paths, like helixes. Also use the software for advanced path planning for activities like cladding. These complex motion paths are almost impossible to generate accurately using other tools.

Access advanced AM path planning, validation and manufacturing preparation tools such as:

  • A complete CAD tool set for feature decomposition, stage modeling and fixture design to setup jobs in your machine’s kinematic environment
  • Comprehensive simultaneous 5-axis AM path planning for robots and machine tools, supporting a wide range of tool path operations
  • A powerful system to combine multi-axis deposition and subtractive manufacturing
    operations in the same tool path setup
  • A simulation system to validate your multi-axis AM machining setup and analyze its performance via a production digital twin
  • Highly productive, modular CNC automation systems controlling up to 93 axes in 30 machining channels

Featured capabilities

A depiction of multi-axis part decomposition.

NX AM Multi-Axis includes a complete CAD toolset for feature decomposition, stage modeling and fixture design to setup jobs in your machine’s kinematic environment. Feature decomposition is the process of separating part features into individual additive operations. This is a critical step to generating the proper output for multi-axis and hybrid additive manufacturing.

These tools accelerate your preparation of parts for toolpath programming and simulation, and allow you to react quickly to design changes.

A depiction of different types of multi-axis deposition paths.

The NX AM Multi-Axis solution includes a robust set of path types for planning the execution of your multi-axis or hybrid print, including planar deposition, rotary deposition, freeform deposition and tubular deposition.

Deposition operations can be easily reordered to enable the utilization of different parameters on infill vs finish passes, to reorder multiple bodies into an optimum build solution, or to accommodate the printing of different materials.

Deposition simulation then allows you to visualize the deposition of the material, helping you to identify areas where material is missing, verify the deposition process, and to prevent collisions with the deposition head.

Below is a short description of various deposition path types available in NX AM Multi-Axis and their advantages.

Planar deposition:

  • Build planar levels with zigzag or spiral infill
  • Make hollow objects with Planar Additive Thin Wall Helical
  • Perform multiple finish passes on inner and outer boundaries
  • Use 5-axis movement to align with drafted walls

Rotary deposition:

  • Define simple rotary axis movement with build-up properties
  • Create round features along the part axis or add features to a round part
  • Align print head with draft angles of features
  • Use thin-wall option for flanges or similar features

Freeform deposition:

  • Build-up "skins" on 3D freeform geometry
  • Construct thin wall features
  • Build features onto 3D shapes
  • Ensure build-up consistency

Tube deposition:

  • Perform a single pass build-up for tube structures
  • Apply efficient helical motion to deposition
  • Vary slice thickness based on geometry
A depiction of 5-axis deposition paths on a turbine part.

Some multi-axis and hybrid additive machines use a full 5-axis setup for material deposition. This has the advantage of creating a higher-quality surface finish with better deposition accuracy and a better net shape.

Having robust 5-axis deposition support in software is important because some 5-axis printing technologies have unique requirements. For example, wire arc deposition can result in an undesired condition where the arc jumps from the area of deposition to another area of the part if the deposition head gets too close. Adjusting the angle of the deposition head can alleviate these issues, and this is the type of robust planning for the 5-axis deposition that NX AM Multi-Axis provides.

Furthermore, having a world-class CAM system integrated into the same system as our NX additive manufacturing solutions means you can easily switch between additive and subtractive operations when using a hybrid manufacturing machine. This helps reduce the waste resulting from non-optimal manufacturing processes, like having to use multiple software solutions.

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