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RICHMOND SR2 Radial Drilling Machine.
3MT, 
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rise & fall table, 
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3MT, radius 762mm, 100-1500rpm, rise & fall table, instabrake. Excellent condition...
Ron Thompson Machinery Co. Ltd.

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Maktek Eurasia Advanced Engineering 2024 Manufacturing Indonesia

MiniWAAM opens door to affordable metal 3-D printing

Posted on 17 Jun 2024. Edited by: Tony Miles. Read 486 times.
MiniWAAM opens door to affordable metal 3-D printingWAAM3D’s new compact metal 3-D printer MiniWAAM

Milton Keynes-based WAAM3D, a company founded by a research team from Cranfield University, has announced the launch of a new compact metal 3-D printer: MiniWAAM. Its introduction brings cutting edge metal additive manufacturing (AM) to a wider audience thanks to its combination of affordability and performance capabilities. Sitting alongside the much larger RoboWAAM in WAAM3D’s machines portfolio, MiniWAAM features the company’s industry leading, proprietary end-effectors, sensing hardware, and software. It offers a competitively priced manufacturing solution for process development, metallurgical characterisation, production of mechanical test pieces, exploration of new wires, and the testing of new sensors.

Thanks to RoboWAAM, launched in 2022, WAAM3D is already a leader in large-scale metal AM. With the launch of the company’s new MiniWAAM platform, the market potential for large format 3-D metal printing and repair in aerospace, defence, oil and gas and research communities has just been extended. Departing from robotic architectures, MiniWAAM features: three-axis overhead CNC system, with an additional 500mm rotational table with 60kg payload; a working envelope of 800 x 800 x 600mm; overall machine dimensions of 2,400 (width) x 2,100 (depth) x 2,300mm (height); and standalone plug&play installation on the shopfloor with full health and safety compliance.

The MiniWAAM system is designed to seamlessly integrate Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing into a manufacturing workflow — improving productivity, reducing waste, and creating new manufacturing oucomes across a broad range of scenarios. Despite its compact size, MiniWAAM offers the same world-leading hardware capabilities as the bigger RoboWAAM solution. Real time ShapeTechTM – WAAM3D’s own interferometric sensor which reconstructs the 3-D profile of the deposited structure, extracting the layer height value all around the component. It gives immediate confidence in the consistency of deposition and in the achievement of key geometrical targets, while 3-D printing is in progress, eliminating the need for lengthy laser scans or touch-probe quality checks.

Consistent 3-D printing conditions

Essential WAAM monitoring (voltage, current, travel speed, wire feed speed). Double-point temperature measurement capability — leading the deposition to ensure consistent 3-D printing conditions; and trailing the deposition for in-process parameters checks. Two wire feeders are included. Each of them can be controlled independently in terms of feeding timing and wire feed speeds. With no changes of setup, WAAM engineers are able to programme the feeding of either the same alloy with two wires to increase deposition rates; or the feeding of different wires to produce functionally graded parts or to perform in-situ alloying.

Electronic wire positioning for increased process stability. Process camera for remote melt-pool imaging. Global shielding for deposition of reactive materials with fully automatic purging, atmosphere maintenance, and evacuation cycles. The RoboWAAM system is fed and controlled by WAAM3D’s own software suite, built on three fundamental blocks. WAAMPlanner which turns a parts pre-form into executable MiniWAAM code. It includes planar and non-planar slicing, 2-D and 3-D sectioning, and layer grouping. It is capable of best-in-class tool-path-planning with dedicated AM approaches and multi-material and multi-process capability.

Seamlessly integrated

WAAMKeys, which populates the tool path plan with process parameters, which are automatically calculated based on geometry and alloy. With advanced thermal compensation modules, it helps achieving the target layer height, regardless of changes in geometrical features. WAAMCtrl, which is an all-encompassing operating system for MiniWAAM. It incorporates an operator’s dashboard, the component’s digital twin, interactive data navigation, and historical database with complete 3-D printing process record (parameter by parameter including all dependent variables such as temperature and shape), seamlessly integrated onto WAAM3D’s hardware and sensors.

WAAM3D CEO Dr Filomeno Martina said: “We are very excited to be launching MiniWAAM, as its introduction brings the benefits of metal 3-D printing to an even wider audience. Thanks to its versatility, MiniWAAM is ideal for the creation of small to medium-sized metal parts for prototyping and for production and research applications. Its use of two wire feeds also makes it of interest for those looking to experiment with composition development and multi-material structure creation.

“Because of MiniWAAM’s level of process monitoring, even at such a competitive price point, MiniWAAM allows research departments to carry out R&D with much higher levels of insights than the less capable ‘home-built’ kits. Moreover, transitioning from MiniWAAM to the much larger RoboWAAM is a seamless process as the fundamental tech elements are exactly the same.”