-This article was originally published by Valk Welding-
RAMLAB has been active as a field lab for 4 years now to develop the technology of WAAM (Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing) together with its partners. RAMLAB is approached by more and more European companies to investigate the possibilities of various applications with WAAM to reduce production time as well as production costs. This has led to the first 3D printing cell that will be used commercially for industrial applications by the French concern Vallourec. Valk Welding supplied the 3D printing cell, in which workpieces are built up drop by drop by a robot using welding technology.
Besides the possibility of producing large workpieces locally with WAAM technology, multi-material printing is also an important unique selling point. WAAM is not limited to one material, but can build workpieces from multiple materials. This offers the possibility of building a large product with only the shell in a more expensive corrosion or wear-resistant material and the core in a cheaper material. To investigate what you could do with all these possibilities on a larger level, WAAM is now being further developed together with 20 partners (including Valk Welding) from all over Europe in the Grade2XL project. With financial support from the EU, WAAM will be further developed over the next 4 years as an economically viable and sustainable alternative to conventional technologies.
For the Grade2XL project, the 3D printing container from Autodesk is now set up at Valk Welding. With 2 welding robots in one system, multi-material parts with new applications such as cooling channels will be printed there. The Cryo Easy solution from Air Products will be used which makes it possible to print with more kilos per hour without the risk of overheating.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 862017.