World’s largest multi-material Additive Manufacturing system released

October 21, 2019

World's largest multi-material Additive Manufacturing system released
The Kraken AM system was presented during the project’s final event at the AITTIP Technology Center (Courtesy CECIMO)

The Kraken, reported to be the world’s largest and most accurate multi-material Additive Manufacturing machine and the result of a three-year EU-funded project, was officially released at the project’s final conference at the Aitiip Technology Centre, Zaragoza, Spain, this September. The hybrid system integrates both additive and subtractive manufacturing technologies, with a maximum working area of 2000 x 800 x 600 cm.

Coordinated by Aitiip, the research project behind the Kraken was supported by the Horizon 2020 EU programme and saw fifteen partners collaborate on its development. During the conference, which welcomed 120 attendees, the project’s partners presented early results and expressed their aim to revolutionise the manufacture of large parts with the production quality and efficiency the Kraken reportedly offers. 

The Kraken uses Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) to process aluminium, and incorporates a bi-material resin extrusion system. An arc spray metallisation process also enables metal Additive Manufacturing on top of an existing polymer part. The system’s subtractive capabilities allow for cutting, sanding and polishing operations.  

All of the Kraken’s operations are controlled by a laser tracker, which monitors the position of the working head 1,000 times per second, correcting its position automatically. The system also incorporates two types of cameras and artificial vision systems to control deposition flows and for the subsequent verification of the piece via three-dimensional scanning.

“Due to the integrated Leica Absolute Tracker, parts manufactured by the Kraken machine can be digitised in 3D and checked against the CAD design to verify the quality of manufacturing over the full volume of the machine, even fully automated if needed,” commented Markus Steiner, Product Manager – Software and Connectivity – Portable Products, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.

The possibility of building high-quality, large metal and resin parts by means of Additive Manufacturing has raised the interest of much of the industry. Hybrid lining panels for road tunnels of 3 · 1.2 m have been manufactured for Acciona, one of the consortium partners. Thanks to the combination of resin and metal, electrical connections can also be produced much more easily.

To demonstrate the Kraken’s applications in the automotive sector, a mock-up of one of Pininfarina’s latest car models has been produced to validate its design. The built piece has a size of 2.2 x 1 x 0.6 m and a weight of 250 kg.

These are some of the real applications that have already been tested, although the sectors that can benefit from this system are thought to be much broader, since it offers low-cost, high-quality, fast and efficient alternatives for the die and mould sector and for the tooling of large parts.

José Antonio Dieste, Aitiip researcher and project coordinator, stated, “The machine is ready for the market, it has been tested in a real manufacturing environment and project demonstrators have been validated by the companies in real conditions. We can now deliver or install Kraken cells according to client demands.”

“Guaranteeing accuracy in large workspaces of 100 m2 is a challenge that Kraken has solved by integrating real time laser tracking technologies within the closed loop control of the robotic system,” explained Francesco Crivelli, CSEM SA, who is responsible for designing the control algorithms and implementing the software. “Thanks to this method, tool precision can be assured down to 0.1 mm.”

Further information about the Kraken system and the collaborative is available via the project website.

Download the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Our latest issue is now available to view online or download in PDF format.

As well as an extensive AM industry news section, this 184-page issue includes articles and reports on:

  • Cheaper powders, faster build speeds and no thermal stresses? How AM is going supersonic at SPEE3D
  • Current perspectives on metal AM: Hype, volume manufacturing and the geographies of production
  • AM Ventures: An insider’s perspective on venture capital for start-ups in Additive Manufacturing
  • Binder Jetting and beyond: Optimising the use of metal powders for Additive Manufacturing
  • From lightweighting and material efficiency to energy consumption: Where are we on AM’s sustainability journey?
  • AM’s industrial impact celebrated as Sweden hosts ASMET’s fourth Metal Additive Manufacturing Conference
  • Euro PM2019: Effects of humidity and storage conditions on Additive Manufacturing powder quality
  • > More information

Latest news


    Sign up to our e-newsletter, sent weekly to AM professionals and end-users around the world. We'll also let you know each time a new issue of Metal AM magazine is available.

    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 in PDF format, in either single page format or as double-page “spreads” for viewing on large monitors. All downloads are free of charge. Go to archive...

    Connect with us

    Visit our social media channels and sign up to our e-newsletter

    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap