Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing

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This is 3D printing using the deposition of metal with MIG welders using standard MIG wire and automated computer controlled motion systems..


OSE Context

Wire arc allows low feestock (also non-Pyrophoric unlike some Metal Powders ) cost 3D metal printing of large parts. A spool of MIG wire is $1.15/lb in bulk -[1]. This is relevant to 3D printing towers for wind turbines, see 3D Printed Windmill Tower, or 3D printing entire tractor frames.

Mig Welder Cost Calculations

Cost of shielding gas is $9/8 hour shift, about $1/hour. Deposition rates go up to 20 lb per hour. See Welding Deposition Rate. This means one spool is used up per 2 hours. $46 in metal, $2 in gas. So about 4% is shielding gas.

Examples/Industry Standards

  1. Cranfield University is doing work on WAAM. Largest printed part - 6 meters long, 300lb, plain aluminum - [2]. See their presentation - good insight - [3]. They are making real structural parts.
  2. Australian government funds $376k for WAAM - [4]
  3. 3D Printed Bridge - [5]

See Also

Product Development Strategy

  • 1" Universal Axis + Universal Frame + Universal Controller.
  • 3 prototypes in 3 months of full time work we can nail this to product-level
  • considering putting such into our budget surrounding the Seed Home 2
  • Steel angle frame - rapid prototype uses 3D printed corners for holding - then welded together. Essentially - 3D printed corners are a jig for frame build.
  • Use counterweighted platform, and do up to 200 lb prints. Counterweight considers Weight of platform + 100 lb, so 200 lb print would have 100 lb imbalance for safety factor 2 on 200 lb hold of motors. Platform should lift a person.
  • All belts and sensitive parts are fully shielded
  • Water or air cooling for platform as needed, and using insulated platform
  • Hire a competent engineer at $50/hr.
  • Budget - $24k + materials.

Internal Links

External Links

  • A Page by "RAMLAB" Titled "Directed Energy Deposition 101" (This goes over all forms and their advantages/disadvantages etc, also mentions EBM / LBM )
  • Laser + TIG setup? - https://www.addere.com/addere-i
  • Electron beam and laser beam can be used - [6]
  • Is hot wire TIG used for 3D printing?
  • TIG additive - Korea - [7]
  • Paper on cold and hot wire TIG - [8]
  • RepRap metal printer with TIG - [9]
  • StrongPrint TIG with wire feed - [10]
  • Review paper on Wire Arc Additive Mfg - WAAM - "The paper concludes that WAAM is a promising alternative to traditional subtractive manufacturing for fabricating large expensive metal components. [11]
  • Companies producing cold weld spray 3d printing - [12]
  • Metal arc from Prodways? - [13]. They call it forging, but it appears to be simple welding with shielding gas (GMAW)
  • WAAM article - [14]