Quick tool change for CNC platform Vitaprint

Author: Mihael Miško, Production manager

Our biggest goal when designing brand new Vitaprint CNC platform was to achieve extremely simple operation and increased ergonomic. The platform can be used for a range of industrial and biomedical cases, ranging from 3D bio-fabrication for tissue engineering to industrial glue-dispensing setups.

Vitaprint

Vitaprint - CNC platform

With that in mind, we went on to create a CNC platform to use as a baseline, which offers high adaptability to many different technologies. The foundation of the machine is a 3-axis construction of high precision mechanics with linear guide rails and no-backlash ball screws.

The platform is designed for quick demonstration and validation of different tools before customization steps come in. For this, it is often required to test the whole system chain, meaning the machine must enable simple accommodation and exchange of various tools simultaneously. Vitaprint Z-axis can accommodate up to three different tools at once. This way, Vitaprint can successfully replace even a set of multiple machines in the same production process that are specialized for only one operation and join them into a single, unified, easy-to-operate piece of technology.

Take an industrial use-case example:
– Tool No. 1: Pneumatic glue dispenser,
– Tool No. 2: Curing UV light,
– Tool No. 3: Auto-adjusting microscope for quality control check

With having to maintain a high degree of flexibility and adaptability to market demands, it’s essential that solutions put in place are made compatible with fast adaptation and adjustment. This means that it is extremely valuable if a machine is able to transform in a matter of minutes to accommodate itself for the next required operation. Our quick tool change enables exactly this – tools can be changed in a mere two steps with no hand tools needed. Used with our automated Z height measuring probe, a machine operation setup can be done by production line workers without lengthy and expensive training programs.

Step 1: removing Tool A
Step 2: attaching Tool B

Our Quick Tool Change Solution

Traditionally, tools are fixed to CNC platforms with many screws and cable connectors, that are hardly accessible and complex steps are needed when attempting modification or replacement. We designed slotted base with spring plungers, supplied by Halder, that firmly lock and in the same time accurately locate a particular tool in its holding position. Slotted base is made out of stainless steel which allows for high tolerance machining and prevent excessive wear over repetitive use. A module or tool is connected to the machine with one standard 12 pin connector, which is also easily accessible from the top. On top of that, we’ve incorporated push-fit pneumatic connectors on all three slots, which allows for mounting of pneumatic tools. 

Vitaprint has three tool slots with quick-change technology with enough space between them to incorporate many different modules that are constantly being developed in our lab and being added to our existing toolset. 

We also offer custom tool design to perfectly fit our customers’ needs.ntial that solutions put in place are made compatible with fast adaptation and adjustment. This means that it is extremely valuable if a machine is able to transform in a matter of minutes to accommodate itself for the next required operation. Our quick tool change enables exactly this – tools can be changed in a mere two steps with no hand tools needed. Used with our automated Z height measuring probe, a machine operation setup can be done by production line workers without lengthy and expensive training programs.

With quick tool change, we have created a highly customisable and transformative CNC machine which can act as a foundation for a large variety of solutions.

About the author

Mihael Miško

Mihael Miško

Loves CNC machines. He delivers perfectly manufactured prototypes and manages our production facilities. His passion is slick production planning and CAM optimisation. He overlooks product assembly and ensures quality consistency of all our products.

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