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WAAM3D announces latest wire arc additive manufacturing control software

Source:        DateTime:2023.06.09        Hits:

WAAM3D has announced the launch of its v2 signature WAAMCtrl software at TCT 3Sixty in Birmingham, the same spot it launched its RoboWAAM system last year.

The software has been designed for use with the Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) company’s large-format RoboWAAM 3D printer to give operators a fully controllable production process via improved real-time control and evaluation features.

Leveraging 60 sensors on board RoboWAAM, WAAMCtrl monitors and controls the material deposition, and records all key process parameters on a secure server. WAAMCtrl also incorporates auditable data storage, quality logs, and interactive data navigation, to demonstrate compliance in a repeatable way. The operator can also initiate automatic cycles for shielding atmosphere establishment, maintenance, and evacuation.

The software has been under development since 2015 and was supported by funding from Innovate UK as part of the HPWAAM project.

Jialuo Ding, Chief Technology Officer and one of the founders of WAAM3D, comments: “We are very pleased to be able to offer the v2 release of our signature WAAMCtrl software. WAAMCtrl serves as more than just a digital platform for collecting comprehensive process and system data for quality control purposes. It also offers a high level of process control and assists users in confidently utilising the RoboWAAM system.”

Key features include process monitoring of voltage, current, wire feed speed, travel speed, wire position, layer height, pre- and post-deposition temperature, oxygen, gas flow and melt pool. Users can also log all key process parameter data and can access real time rendering of 3D map of logged data onto an actual tool path. Real-time colour-coding of the 3D charts is said to help make sense of big deposition data, mapped over the part’s real geometry. The company says the software can be integrated via its API with ERP and MRP systems for push to post-processes. 

New for version two are touchscreen operations and a configurable dashboard layout, support for the newest WAAM3D processes including CWMIG and Dual-Wire-Plasma, and new materials Waspalloy and Inconel 718. The software also provides support for in-process forging via vertical and lateral rolling and improved closed-loop control for automatic wire positioning for existing materials including Ti64 and carbon steel. WAAM3D also says users can expect to see improved in-process layer height measurement, indicators showing the location of key sensors on end-effectors, pre-deposition thermal monitoring, and general improvements to the UI/UX.

The company, which spun out of Cranfield University, says its use of statistical process control monitoring delivers demonstrable robustness, validity and compliance to certification boards and other regulatory bodies.