Robotic WAAM offers a near-net-shape manufacturing process to accelerate the production lead time, reduce machining time, and eliminate up to two-thirds of the production costs.
Every digital manufacturing process begins with a digital design (CAD) of the part to be printed.
Robotic WAAM enables topology optimization techniques where weight can be reduced by >50%, resulting in significant manufacturing cost reduction, performance improvement, and increased lifetime value of the part.
After the CAD has been checked on printability, including wall thickness and overhangs, the toolpath plan can be generated based on parameters and printing strategy and sent to the WAAM system for printing.
WAAM systems operate semi-autonomously in a flexible setup, where the control system monitors key process parameters and warns the operator. The semi-autonomous operation allows WAAM systems to work 24/7 and complete the manufacturing of parts that weigh 100+ kg in a matter of days at a deposition rate of 1-4 kg/hour.
Different post-processing steps can improve the surface finish and produce the engineered net shape.
CNC machining is the most common and allows the reproduction of features with critical dimensions and tolerances. Grinding or sandblasting is commonly used for large parts with looser dimensional requirements. Optionally, heat treatment relieves the residual stresses to improve the microstructure and mechanical properties of certain materials.