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Fast metal 3-D printing at Wall Colmonoy

Posted on 20 Apr 2021 and read 330 times
Fast metal 3-D printing at Wall ColmonoyDr Chris Weirman (right), Wall Colmonoy technical director, with AM team members, Sam Melmoth (left) and Lewis Morgan (centre) in front of the installed binder-jet printer from Desktop Metal

Swansea-based Wall Colmonoy Ltd (UK), which encompasses a 23,500ft2 modern machining facility and 19,000ft2 casting foundry, with 50 years’ of casting experience in wear-resistant alloys, can now offer affordable and fast metal 3-D printing of small- to medium-size components following the installation of the first full Desktop Metal Shop System in the UK.

The company can now collaborate with customers by developing AM prototypes or part components, moving theoretical designs into proven applications without the restrictions of conventional subtractive manufacturing methods.

Components can be developed and manufactured for fit and function trials utilising Wall Colmonoy’s reputation for highly effective wear and corrosion resistant solutions for the most demanding applications or simply for end use in a desired application.

With turnround time up to 10-times faster than typical powder-bed fusion alternatives, the Desktop Metal Shop System is optimised for low- to medium-size production runs and is suitable for many applications within automotive, food processing, manufacturing, and marine industries.

Chris Weirman, Wall Colmonoy technical director, said: “This latest purchase marks a new chapter for the company and we are inspired by the possibilities of metal 3-D printing to really expand what we can make. It is exciting to be able to offer this route for customers who have smaller volumes or have parts that are difficult to cast.”

Wall Colmonoy also intends to use the new 3-D printer to produce innovative new parts for its atomisation plant in Pontardawe, Wales. The possibilities of design freedom, unique to additive manufacturing, are of great interest to the engineering team which has earmarked several parts for development. 3-D printing components will enable the company to quickly implement tooling improvements and greatly reduce the downtime associated with waiting for replacement parts.

The Shop System has a build envelope of eight litres, with a maximum individual part size of 350 x 220 x 100mm and can manufacture hundreds of components each day, depending on the size of the part. Initial production runs will use 17-4PH stainless steel, with Colmonoy nickel and Wallex cobalt alloys expected to follow.

More information is available at the website (www.wallcolmonoy.co.uk/additivemanufacturing)