Caracol teases new WAAM capabilities for large size metal parts
LFAM specialist Caracol has unveiled its ambition to expand into metal LFAM capabilities with a short video. The company is now looking to leverage its expertise in advanced robotics programming, computational design, slicing, and path planning, and apply them to DED, and specifically WAAM (wire arc additive manufacturing) technology.
Together with leading research centers and players in some of the most advanced manufacturing sectors, the company revealed it has been working on several research projects, with the aim of using this technology to produce large, finished parts with metals for sectors such as aerospace, railways and energy.
WAAM technology is living through a renaissance, as adopting companies begin to see the clear value proposition of rapidly and cost-effectively producing large and complex metal parts to near-net shape (NNS).
First patented in 1920, electric arc-based welding is probably the oldest, outwardly simplest, but for a long time also the least talked about of the range of AM processes, as we first highlighted in this Additive Manufacturing Guide to WAAM that we published in 2017. Using welding wire as feedstock, the process has been used to manufacture round components and pressure vessels for decades, but not until quite recently has an interest in AM in general, and arc-based AM in particular, increased.
With a resolution of approximately 1mm and deposition rate between 1 and 10kg/hour (depending on arc source), the operating window of arc-based AM is between, and complementary to, accurate but slower laser-based systems and less accurate high-deposition-rate plasma and electron beam systems.
Caracol is thus now entering the metal AM segment in its ongoing quest to overcome the limits of 3D printing and traditional manufacturing. The company recently launched the HERON AM LFAM system for the production of advanced polymer and composites components, for high-performing industrial sectors. This solution will eventually be complemented by the WAAM system for a holistic offer that will be able to meet the specific requirements of the company’s clients across the aerospace, automotive, energy, and marine segments.