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WAAM3D launches MiniWAAM compact system

Offering a competitively priced manufacturing solution for process development, metallurgical characterization

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UK company WAAM3D launched a new compact metal 3D printer, the MiniWAAM, bringing cutting-edge metal additive manufacturing to a wider audience thanks to a combination of affordability and performance capabilities. Sitting alongside the larger RoboWAAM in WAAM3D’s machines portfolio, MiniWAAM features WAAM3D’s proprietary end-effectors, sensing hardware, and software. It offers a competitively priced manufacturing solution for process development, metallurgical characterization, production of mechanical test pieces, exploration of new wires, and the testing of new sensors.

Thanks to RoboWAAM, launched in 2022, WAAM3D is now a leader in large-scale metal additive manufacturing. With the launch of the company’s new MiniWAAM platform, the market potential for large format 3D metal printing and repair in aerospace, defense, oil and gas and research communities has been extended.

WAAM3D launches MiniWAAM compact system, offering a competitively priced manufacturing solution for process development
Dr. Filomeno Martina (right)

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 2 wire feeds also makes it of interest for those looking to experiment with composition development and multi-material structure creation. 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. Moreover, transitioning from MiniWAAM to the much bigger RoboWAAM is a seamless process as the fundamental tech elements are exactly the same.”

Departing from robotic architectures, MiniWAAM features a 3-axis overhead CNC system, plus an additional 500 mm rotational table with 60 kg payload. It has a working envelope of 800 mm x 800 mm x 600 mm with overall machine dimensions of 2400 mm (width) x 2100 mm (depth) x 2300 mm (height). The machines is standalone with a plug-and-play installation on the shop floor and full health and safety compliance.

The MiniWAAM system is designed to seamlessly integrate Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing into manufacturing workflow – improving productivity, reducing waste, and creating new manufacturing horizons across a broad range of scenarios.

Despite its compact size, MiniWAAM offers the same hardware capabilities as the larger RoboWAAM solution. The compact system features Real-Time ShapeTech, WAAM3D’s own interferometric sensor that reconstructs the 3D profile of the deposited structure and extracts the layer height value all around the component. This technology provides immediate confidence in the consistency of deposition and the achievement of key geometrical targets while printing is in progress, eliminating the need for lengthy laser scans or touch-probe quality checks.

WAAM3D launches MiniWAAM compact system, offering a competitively priced manufacturing solution for process development

The MiniWAAM includes essential WAAM® monitoring of voltage, current, travel speed, and wire feed speed. It also has a double-point temperature measurement capability, leading the deposition to ensure consistent printing conditions and trailing the deposition for in-process parameter checks.

Additionally, it comes with two wire feeders, each of which can be controlled independently in terms of feeding timing and wire feed speeds. Without any changes in setup, WAAM® engineers can program the feeding of either the same alloy with two wires to increase deposition rates or different wires to produce functionally graded parts or perform in-situ alloying.

Electronic wire positioning enhances process stability, and a process camera enables remote melt-pool imaging. The MiniWAAM also provides global shielding for the deposition of reactive materials, with fully automatic purging, atmosphere maintenance, and evacuation cycles.

WAAM3D’s systems are fed and controlled by WAAM3D’s own software suite, built on three fundamental blocks.

WAAMPlanner turns a part’s pre-form into executable MiniWAAM code. It includes planar and non-planar slicing, 2D and 3D sectioning, and layer grouping. This block offers best-in-class tool-path planning with dedicated additive manufacturing approaches and multi-material and multi-process capability.

WAAMKeys populates the tool path plan with process parameters, which are automatically calculated based on geometry and alloy. With advanced thermal compensation modules, it helps achieve the target layer height, regardless of changes in geometrical features.

WAAMCtrl serves as an all-encompassing operating system for MiniWAAM®. It incorporates an operator’s dashboard, the component’s digital twin, interactive data navigation, and a historical database with a complete printing process record. This includes parameter-by-parameter data, covering all dependent variables such as temperature and shape, seamlessly integrated with WAAM3D’s hardware and sensors.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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