WAAM3D launches MiniWAAM Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing machine

June 6, 2024

WAAM3D has added the MiniWAAM to its range of wire-based Additive Manufacturing machines (Courtesy WAAM3D)
WAAM3D has added the MiniWAAM to its range of wire-based Additive Manufacturing machines (Courtesy WAAM3D)

WAAM3D, based in Milton Keynes, UK, has launched MiniWAAM, a compact metal Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing machine. Sitting alongside the larger RoboWAAM, launched in 2022, MiniWAAM is said to offer 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.

Dr Filomeno Martina, CEO of WAAM3D commented, “We are very excited to be launching MiniWAAM, as its introduction brings the benefits of metal 3D 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.”

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Departing from robotic architectures, MiniWAAM features three-axis overhead CNC system, plus an additional 500 mm rotational table with 60 kg payload. It has a 800 x 800 x 600 mm build envelope and offers plug-and-play installation with full health and safety compliance.

MiniWAAM offers the same hardware capabilities as the bigger RoboWAAM solution, including WAAM3D’s proprietary ShapeTech interferometric sensor, essential monitoring (voltage, current, and travel/wire feed speed), double-point measurement capability, a process camera for melt-pool imaging, and global shielding for the deposition of reactive materials with fully automated purging, atmosphere maintenance and evacuation cycles.

With no changes of setup, 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.

The MiniWAAM is structured and controlled by WAAM3D’s own software suite: WAAMPlanner, WAAMKeys, and WAAMCtrl.

WAAMPlanner: This turns a parts pre-form into executable MiniWAAM code. It includes planar and non-planar slicing, 2D and 3D sectioning, and layer grouping. It is capable of high-quality toolpath planning with dedicated AM approaches and multi-material and multi-process capability.

WAAMKeys: This software populates the toolpath 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: An all-encompassing operating system for MiniWAAM. It incorporates the operator’s dashboard, the component’s digital twin, interactive data navigation, and historical database with complete Additive Manufacturing process record (parameter by parameter, including all dependent variables such as temperature and shape), integrated onto WAAM3D’s hardware and sensors.

“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,” added Dr Martina. “Moreover, transitioning from MiniWAAM to the much bigger RoboWAAM is a seamless process as the fundamental tech elements are exactly the same.”

www.waam3d.com

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