Wire + Arc Additive Manufacturing - WAAM
Two robotic welding machines are fabricating steel-aluminium aircraft wing ribs using a wire + arc additive manufacturing process (WAAM) which deposits layers of metal from a wire in a technique derived from welding. Items produced by this method are subsequently machined to a conventional finish but the time taken to manufacture such pieces from steel, aluminium, titanium, copper and other metals, alloys and composite materials is significantly shorter than using conventional methods, with considerable cost savings. The concept was first described in 1926 but developments in robotic control are creating interest in its possible importance in the manufacture of, for instance, aircraft parts which are conventionally machined from solid blocks of metal. Photographed at Cranfield University, UK.
©James King-Holmes 2014.©James King-Holmes |PLUS|01-AA-662| 2014
Photo size: 25.0 Mpixels (71.5 MB uncompressed) - 5000x5000 pixels (16.6x16.6 in / 42.3x42.3 cm at 300 ppi)