MELD unveils 3PO hybrid additive and subtractive machine

November 16, 2022

The 3PO from MELD features independent additive and subtractive manufacturing capabilities (Courtesy MELD)
The 3PO from MELD features independent additive and subtractive manufacturing capabilities (Courtesy MELD)

MELD Manufacturing Corporation, Christiansburg, Virginia, USA, has announced its newest machine, 3PO, at Formnext 2022. The machine features a MELD Additive Manufacturing system with an integrated subtractive head. It has a large build capacity of 4 m x 2.7 m x 1 m (10.8 m3) and eliminates the need for a separate subtractive machine.

3PO, named after Star Wars droids like the other MELD AM machines, offers a continuous Additive Manufacturing capability for large-scale parts. The subtractive capabilities include a standard 3-axis head, with an optional 5-axis head at a maximum travel speed of 12 m/minute.

MELD uses a patented Additive Manufacturing technology based on a process similar to friction welding, and can be used for the building and repair of metal components using off-the-shelf solid-state materials or powder. The process is capable of additively manufacturing large metal parts due to the fact that the it is an open-atmosphere process and not sensitive to the operating environment or material surface condition.

The MELD process can utilise various materials, such as aluminium, titanium, steel and nickel-based superalloys, and is reputedly well suited to address several challenges facing the defence sector, along with other industries.

“In response to customer demand, we’ve increased the size of parts possible with MELD, and added subtractive functionally to machine in features throughout the build,” stated Nanci Hardwick, CEO.

While 3PO is the first MELD commercial off-the-shelf hybrid machine, it’s not the first machine that the company has been involved in that includes subtractive capabilities. The MELD technology is being deployed in a machine incorporating additive and subtractive technology for the US Army’s Jointless Hull Program.

Meld is at Formnext in Hall 11.0, B41.

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Kennametal: The story of the successful commercialisation of AM hardmetal and steel solutions
  • General Atomics Aeronautical on metal Additive Manufacturing’s place at the centre of the digital manufacturing revolution
  • Adrian Keppler on Additive Manufacturing: An insider’s assessment from the outside
  • Metal AM’s journey to industrialisation: Are we there yet? And what does the destination even look like?
  • A stronger future, layer by layer: How next-generation software will drive adoption of metal AM
  • Volkmann: Making the case for the complete automation of powder handling in AM
  • Metal AM on an industrial scale: GKN Additive draws on decades of sintering expertise to commercialise Binder Jetting
  • International Conference on Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing: Highlights from EBAM 2023

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Discover our magazine archive…

The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap