Jul 10, 2017 | By Benedict

AML Technologies (Additive Metal Layering Technologies), a metal 3D printing startup based in Adelaide, Australia, has been awarded a 500,000 AUD ($380,000) grant from the Australian government to develop its Wire-Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAM) process.

As one of 24 businesses benefiting from a recent 11.2 million AUD of commercialization grants from the Australian government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme, Adelaide-based AML Technologies now finds itself in a strong position to develop its Wire-Arc Additive Manufacturing metal 3D printing process, a technology for disrupting the traditional methods of casting, forging and machining.

“AML Technologies has been awarded this money from the Turnbull Government to help establish a contract bureau for large-scale 3D metal printing,” said the Hon Christopher Pyne, the Australian government representative for Sturt, AML’s constituency. “It’s great that they will be supported to undertake commercialization activities to prove the viability of this great idea.”

According to AML, WAM is a metal 3D printing metal process for creating medium to large metal parts. It is suitable for the production of large-scale engineering structures of high integrity at low cost, combining an electric arc as a heat source with wire as feedstock to produce free-form parts.

The company says that the wire arc technique, which is more like welding than other metal 3D printing processes, is integrated with a specifically programmed welding robot to manufacture large metal parts from digital 3D designs to a near-net shape, which are then machine finished. Use of robotics purportedly removes traditional 3D printer size restrictions.

AML describes the WAM process as a “major disruption to the current methods of metal part manufacturing,” which can be “time-consuming, costly, and produce immense scrap material.” By using the WAM process instead, this wastage of material can purportedly be reduced by up to 80 percent, with manufacturing times reduced by 75 percent.

"This technology has the opportunity to save immense lead times,” commented AML’s Andy Sales. “It means the product won't take months, but days if not hours.” The 3D printing expert also added that, “with a robot and table big enough, you can build something as big as a car.”

If the process of Wire-Arc Additive Manufacturing sounds familiar to you, but you don’t think you’ve heard of AML, that’s where things get a little complicated.

The reason for the confusion is likely because (unhyphenated) Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing, a seemingly similar additive welding process, has been used by other organizations, usually under the name WAAM. The Netherlands’ brand-new RAMLAB at the Port of Rotterdam contains one notable example of a large WAAM 3D printer.

AML Technologies, which has trademarked the term “WAM,” offers 3D printing services to clients interested in receiving medium to large metal 3D printed parts. It does not currently sell its 3D printing technology.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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