Large-Format 3D Printer Operates on WAAM Tech

Named RoboWAAM, the metal printer sports a large build volume of 2x2x2 m and is full of new sensing hardware.

Named RoboWAAM, the metal printer sports a large build volume of 2x2x2 m and is full of new sensing hardware.

WAAM3D’s RoboWAAM 3D printer. Image courtesy of WAAM3D.

Cranfield University spin-out WAAM3D has launched a new large-format 3D printer operating on the firm’s Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) technology. Named RoboWAAM, the metal printer sports a sizable build volume of 2x2x2 m and is full of new sensing hardware to serve customers in aerospace, defense, energy and more.

Multi-Meter Printing with RoboWAAM

Equipped with its own robotic arm, the RoboWAAM is designed to be a turnkey metal 3D printing system capable of processing “virtually any material” available in wire form. It’s suitable for fabricating new components and repairs on existing metal parts.

Included in the list of novel hardware additions is ShapeTech, a new interferometric sensor technology that extracts the layer height values of every point in the part as it’s being printed. This eliminates the need for any additional laser scans or touch-probe quality checks once the build is complete.

There’s also a new double-point temperature measurement function that controls the deposition printing parameters and checks the parameters in-situ. Wire positioning is now done electronically for process stability.

On the safety side, RoboWAAM features a Fume Management System for containment, filtration and treatment. The machine is also fully shielded for safely processing reactive materials with automatic purging, atmosphere maintenance and evacuation cycles.

WAAM3D has integrated a process camera for remote melt-pool monitoring, as well as CCTV for supervision purposes. The machine has a large material spool capacity of 70 kg.

RoboWAAM also comes with the firm’s in-house software suite, comprising four programs. This includes WAAMPlanner, an advanced toolpath planner; WAAMKeys, which eliminates defects and automatically calculates printing parameters; WAAMSim, a simulation program for printing environment visualization; and WAAMCtrl, the comprehensive operating system featuring an operator dashboard, digital twin capabilities and a database for build records.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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