Chicago, IL—While Mazak Nissho Iwai, like it's peers, showed laser cutters at the recent Fabtech International show, it chose to do so in a setting that presented design engineering and production techniques made possible by advances in laser equipment. Visitors to the Mazak 3D Laser Factory display saw laser-processed fixtures for machining operations, furniture, and a tractor and trailer chassis.
What caught the visitor's eye entering the large Mazak exhibit was a scale model of the Kintaikyo Bridge, one of Japan's three most famous bridges, which stands in Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi prefecture. The full-size wooden bridge stood for 276 years before being destroyed by a flood in 1950, and later was rebuilt of wood to the original design in 1953. It is said there is nothing left to be desired in view of present day bridge engineering.
The replica was not only a lovely centerpiece for Mazak's equipment display, it was also constructed from laser-cut parts and assembled using no welding or bolts, just laser-cut slots and tabs. So maybe there is something new left in bridge design and engineering resulting from laser processing.
A laser-cut steel replica of the famous wooden Kintaikyo Bridge whose center span is 210 meters.
Mazak's Fabtech display showed visitors how flexibility in part design can simplify assembly. Another display showed laser-.processed rectangular and round tubing used to construct furniture and another showed laser-cut slots and tabs in tubing that allows a trailer and truck chassis to be cut from pipe without expensive welding fixtures.
If you weren't one of the lucky ones attending Fabtech, check out Mazak Nissho Iwai at www.mazaklaser.com. —DAB.