WAAM3D, Milton Keynes, UK, has released an update of its WAAMCtrl® operating system for the company’s RoboWAAM®, a multi-metre metal Additive Manufacturing machine designed for aerospace, defence, energy, and research communities.
Reportedly under development since 2015, WAAMCtrl v2 leverages the sixty sensors on board RoboWAAM to monitor and control the Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing process, a form of Directed Energy Deposition (DED), whilst recording all key process parameters on its secure server. As well as enabling operators to have a fully controllable production process, WAAMCtrl also incorporates auditable data storage, quality logs, and interactive data navigation, to demonstrate compliance in a repeatable way.
Via its touchscreen-based graphical user interface, the operator can initiate automatic cycles for shielding atmosphere establishment, maintenance and evacuation. WAAMCtrl also provides a facility for controlling and restarting deposition programmes.
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“We are very pleased to be able to offer the v2 release of our signature WAAMCtrl software,” stated Jialuo Ding, Chief Technology Officer and one of the founders of WAAM3D. “WAAMCtrl serves as more than just a digital platform for collecting comprehensive process and system data for quality control purposes. It also offers a high level of process control and assists users in confidently utilising the RoboWAAM system.”
The systems enables operators to see in real-time how a project is progressing, with the sensors transmitting information to WAAMCtrl tens of times per second, for monitoring and control via proprietary wire-position and interpass temperature closed-loops. Real-time colour-coding of the 3D charts also helps make sense of big deposition data, mapped over the part’s real geometry.
The development of WAAMCtrl v2 has benefitted from funding from Innovate UK (part of UK Research and Innovation, driving productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses), within the HPWAAM (High Productivity Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing) project.