Presentation Title

Robotic Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing

Location

Nessmith-Lane Atrium

Session Format

Paper Presentation

Research Area Topic:

Engineering and Material Sciences - Mechanical

Abstract

Additive manufacturing is a rapidly developing technology which promises to drastically reduce the cost and waste associated with manufacturing parts. However, current systems of additive manufacturing used for creating metal parts which are suitable for use in the aerospace, automotive, and defense industries are complex, expensive, and not robust enough to produce a wide range of part features and geometries. A relatively new method, called wire arc additive manufacturing(WAAM) is a low cost option that can create parts which have a near-net shape, and only require a small amount of post processing before they are ready for use. This system, when attached to a 6 degree of freedom robotic arm, can be effectively used to create a system that offers a very high level of design flexibility to an engineer. Parts produced by this system also have nearly zero material waste, when compared to up to 90% material waste on parts produced by a conventional subtractive, computer controlled, machine. As part complexity increases, the manufacturing costs associated with that part rise at a much faster, non-linear, rate. With WAAM, the complexity increase would only correspond to a slightly higher manufacturing cost, if any increase at all.

The principles behind WAAM are simple. A welder, with an automatic wire feed attachment is used to deposit metal onto a metal substrate. The deposition of metal on the base layer would resemble the bottom of the part. Additional layers are added one by one in a very similar method that 3D printing uses. Because each layer is, on average, only .070 thick, it allows for complex or curved surfaces to be formed during the build process with relative ease. These surfaces are cleaned up during the final post processing of the part so that they are exactly what is represented by the part model. The WAAM system is also capable of creating a single part that is made from more than one type of material, something that is impossible with subtractive manufacturing. Additionally, a small robotic arm, weighing only 60 lbs, can build parts in a work envelope of over 8 cubic feet, whereas a subtractive machine with a similar work volume could weigh upwards of 7,000 lbs, occupy a much larger floor space, require significantly more power, and cost 2 to 3 times as much as a robotic WAAM system to implement.

The welder, wire feed, and robot are controlled through an offline-programming software. With the software, the part can be visualized as it is built, layer by layer, and the motion of the robot is simulated. In addition to the programming of motion of the robot, the material science behind the deposition of the welded metal is under investigation in order to give favorable parameters to the software for controlling the welding current, wire feeding speed, wire current, and robotic arm movement rates.

Presentation Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Start Date

4-16-2016 2:45 PM

End Date

4-16-2016 4:00 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 16th, 2:45 PM Apr 16th, 4:00 PM

Robotic Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing

Nessmith-Lane Atrium

Additive manufacturing is a rapidly developing technology which promises to drastically reduce the cost and waste associated with manufacturing parts. However, current systems of additive manufacturing used for creating metal parts which are suitable for use in the aerospace, automotive, and defense industries are complex, expensive, and not robust enough to produce a wide range of part features and geometries. A relatively new method, called wire arc additive manufacturing(WAAM) is a low cost option that can create parts which have a near-net shape, and only require a small amount of post processing before they are ready for use. This system, when attached to a 6 degree of freedom robotic arm, can be effectively used to create a system that offers a very high level of design flexibility to an engineer. Parts produced by this system also have nearly zero material waste, when compared to up to 90% material waste on parts produced by a conventional subtractive, computer controlled, machine. As part complexity increases, the manufacturing costs associated with that part rise at a much faster, non-linear, rate. With WAAM, the complexity increase would only correspond to a slightly higher manufacturing cost, if any increase at all.

The principles behind WAAM are simple. A welder, with an automatic wire feed attachment is used to deposit metal onto a metal substrate. The deposition of metal on the base layer would resemble the bottom of the part. Additional layers are added one by one in a very similar method that 3D printing uses. Because each layer is, on average, only .070 thick, it allows for complex or curved surfaces to be formed during the build process with relative ease. These surfaces are cleaned up during the final post processing of the part so that they are exactly what is represented by the part model. The WAAM system is also capable of creating a single part that is made from more than one type of material, something that is impossible with subtractive manufacturing. Additionally, a small robotic arm, weighing only 60 lbs, can build parts in a work envelope of over 8 cubic feet, whereas a subtractive machine with a similar work volume could weigh upwards of 7,000 lbs, occupy a much larger floor space, require significantly more power, and cost 2 to 3 times as much as a robotic WAAM system to implement.

The welder, wire feed, and robot are controlled through an offline-programming software. With the software, the part can be visualized as it is built, layer by layer, and the motion of the robot is simulated. In addition to the programming of motion of the robot, the material science behind the deposition of the welded metal is under investigation in order to give favorable parameters to the software for controlling the welding current, wire feeding speed, wire current, and robotic arm movement rates.