An output of the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme that has seen 15 partners collaborate for the last three years, José Antonio Dieste, researcher and project coordinator at Zaragoza, Spain’s AITTIP Technology Centre where the meeting was held, said: “The machine is ready for the market, it has been tested in real manufacturing environment and project demonstrators have been validated by the companies in real conditions. We can deliver now pieces or install Kraken cells according to client demands.”
Metal AM sees Kraken employs wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) at a deposition rate of 1.5l /h. The machine’s bi-material resin extrusion system can reach deposition rates of 120 kg/h, while metallisation can reach deposition rates of 6kg/h.
In addition, the subtractive capabilities of the machine allow for cutting, sanding, polishing operations.
A key feature is that all these operations are controlled by a laser tracker, which monitors and controls the position of the head 1,000 times per second, correcting its position automatically. The system also incorporates two types of camera and artificial vision systems to control the deposition flows and for the subsequent verification of the piece, through three-dimensional scanning.
Some demonstrators of the project are already finished. They are aimed at validating the functionality of the system and include hybrid lining panels for road tunnels of have been manufactured for Acciona, one of the consortium partners. Thanks to the combination of resin and metal, electrical connections can be made more easily. Also, a mock-up car of one of the latest Pininfarina car models has been produced to validate its design. The built piece has a size of 2.2 by 1 by 0.6 m and weighs 250 kg.