Additive manufacturing: Integrated offering

1 min read

Cranfield University spin-out WAAM3D recently launched its RoboWAAM large-format metal additive manufacturing (AM) machine – developed to create AM solutions for large-scale industrial metal components.

The company was founded by a research team from Cranfield University in 2019, but since 2006, has been pioneering research and development in wire arc AM, a wire-based Directed Energy Deposition (DED) process.

It also works with Catapult Centres, in particular, AMRC North West and the NMIS in Scotland – making the technology available and improving accessibility for their members.

Filomeno Martina, CEO and co-founder, explains that wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM), was then a rather unconventional approach for creating large scale components using AM after recognising its potential benefits to industry – cost, time and
environmental savings.

He adds: “That initiated an overarching research programme called WAAMMat, whose founding aim was to focus and accelerate the
efforts towards WAAM’s industrial application and exploitation.

“Fast forward to 2018 – whilst the WAAMMat programme is still ongoing and is continuing to offer research into and prototyping for the sectors that WAAM technology is beneficial for, namely oil and gas, mining, marine and aerospace, WAAM3D is spun out. WAAM3D is Cranfield University’s route to commercialising the WAAM process and is itself a member of WAAMMat.”

WAAM3D left Cranfield’s campus in 2020, to set up a HQ and manufacturing facility in Milton Keynes to support future growth. It employs 35 people and is looking to grow to a team of 60 and recently set up a joint venture in Singapore to look after the Southeast Asian market.

Moving to Milton Keynes enabled development and installation of the new RoboWAAM machine and the chance to increase in its team of skilled engineers. It has a state-of-the-art application lab with some systems dedicated to pure R&D and others at the service of ambitious customers.

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