New Wire Additive Manufacturing (NEWAM)

Lead Research Organisation: Cranfield University
Department Name: Sch of Aerospace, Transport & Manufact

Abstract

3D printing, or, Additive Manufacturing (AM), has rapidly come to prominence as a valid and convenient alternative to other production techniques, this is thanks to a growing body of evidence that its advantages in terms of lead-time reduction; design flexibility and capability; and reduced manufacturing waste are not only potential, but very much real. Metal AM techniques can be categorised based upon the form of the material they use (powder or wire), the heat source (laser, electron beam, or electric arc), or the way the material is delivered (pre-placed bed, or direct feed). Each of the metal AM technologies, given its particular properties, is best suited for specific applications. For example, the selective laser-melting of a pre-placed powder bed yields precise, net-shape components that can be very complex in design. However, their size is limited, cost is high, and build rates are low. In contrast, the Directed Energy Deposition (DED) processes can build near-net-shape parts, at many kilograms per hour, and with potentially no limitation to a components' size. To date, most of the work in wire based DED has been carried out at Cranfield University, where a 6-m-long aluminium aero-structure was built in a few days. Research over the last 10 years has also proven the capability to make large titanium parts in a timely manner (weeks instead of months) and with much reduced cost (up to 70% cheaper than machining from solid), resulting in a tremendous industry pull.

However, manufacturing such components is extremely challenging; so far, it has been based on engineering principles; a great deal of empirical know-how is required for every new application, leading to long lead times and high cost for new applications and materials. These are ever-varying and numerous, in light of the heterogeneity of the end-users mix. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop a science-based understanding of DED processing; this is key to exploit its full potential and enable the industrial pick-up it merits. Such potential could be increased by combining more than one process: E.g. an arc and a laser could be coupled into one symbiotic machine, generating a multiple energy source configuration.

Our vision is to radically transform Large Area Metal Additive (LAMA) manufacturing, by pioneering:
- new high build-rate wire based DED with greater precision of shape and microstructure
- production of net-shape large-scale engineering structures, at low cost
- guaranteed 'right-first-time' homogeneous or tailored high performance properties and structural integrity.

Four universities (Cranfield U., U. of Manchester, Strathclyde U., and Coventry U.) have joined forces to deliver this ambitious research programme over five years with a budget of £7M. The LAMA programme is formed by four interconnected projects:
1. LAMA's engine room. New wire-based DED processes with two primary aims: simultaneous high build rate with precision net-shape deposition (no finishing process required); and independent thermal control from deposition shape, using active thermal profile management.
2. LAMA's design room: new wire compositions tailored to the newly available thermal process regimes, and capable of producing properties better than the equivalent forged alloys; it will also provide crucial information regarding the formation and criticality of defects.
3. LAMA's modelling room: key fundamental science and understanding, using advanced process and material modelling and state-of-the-art high efficiency techniques. Physics-based thermal and fluid-flow models, as well as microstructural and mechanical models will be developed and implemented.
4. LAMA's quality room: physics-based framework for guaranteed mechanical properties and structural integrity in as-built components; including the development of in-process non-destructive evaluation techniques.

LAMA will build on and exploit the UK's substantial lead in wire-based DED technology.

Planned Impact

The research outputs from LAMA will include
- New additive manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing processes for metals with greatly enhanced capability and level of control
- New concepts or feedstock material including compositions, novel shapes and new configurations
- A radically different approach to guaranteeing that component manufactured using these new processes and materials is fit for purpose in demanding structural applications, such as in aircraft manufacture
These are all highly beneficial for UK industry, including end-users of the research outputs from LAMA, as well as the whole supply chain for this new technology. End-users include many industry sectors such as aerospace, defence, energy (including renewables and nuclear), and construction. The new AM processes and materials will lead to significantly reduced manufacturing costs and lead times, combined with much higher productivity. This will make these UK industries much more competitive internationally. LAMA will also give the opportunity for UK businesses to lead the supply chain for these new AM processes, including specialist hardware, lasers, and feedstock materials; providing a major opportunity for export worldwide,
Moreover, the high level of benefit to industry of LAMA will generate significant economic benefit for the UK economy as a whole.
Societal benefits will include generation or retention of jobs in key industry sectors within the UK. The new AM process will also provide major environmental benefits as they are targeted at replacement of high consumption manufacturing methods, such as machining material out solid blocks of metal. Material savings of up to 80% are likely leading to a much sustainable manufacturing capability. Furthermore, many of these materials are highly energy intensive to produce, so that large energy saving will be achieved along with the consequent reduction in CO2 emissions.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Discussion with CTO of High Value Manufacturing Catapult on how to best engage with centres in the HVMC
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description MSc Course - Additive Manufacture
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact The MSc course contributes to increase number of skilled people working in additive manufacturing (AM). When compared to the traditional manufacturing processes, AM offers a significant cost saving by reducing the amount of material used and processing time. AM is also an environmentaly friendly process because less material is used and wasted during manufacturing of large industrial components.
 
Description Short course - Advanced Welding Processes - Laser welding
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Increase number of skilled people working in laser processing
 
Description Multifun
Amount € 8,320,000 (EUR)
Funding ID P12842 
Organisation European Commission H2020 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 03/2020 
End 02/2023
 
Description Laser material processing using fibre lasers 
Organisation SPI Lasers UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We carry out research into laser material processing using lasers supplied by SPI
Collaborator Contribution They have donated 1 3KW laser and 3 500 W lasers to the Centre to enable us to do this work. They have now provided further lasers and have supported our successful programme grant application NEWAM
Impact Software that can be used commercially based on the power factor concept has been offered to SPI.
Start Year 2014
 
Title Additive manufacture 
Description Method of producing a 3D article by additive manufacture, comprising the steps of; i) forming a meltpool in an already-existing part of the article and moving the meltpool relative thereto; ii) feeding a directed feedstock (which may be a wire or tape) into the moving meltpool to deposit and fuse a layer of material on the already-existing part; and iii) repeating the forming and moving and feeding steps to build up successive layers of material, and thereby produce the 3D article, wherein, in performance of the forming and moving step; a) a first energy source (which may be a plasma transferred arc) is directed onto the already-existing part, the first energy source impinging at a first region which moves with and leads the meltpool, whereby the first energy source initiates the formation of the meltpool and b) a second energy source (which may be one or more lasers) is directed onto the already-existing part, the second energy source impinging at a second region which moves with and follows the first region, whereby the second energy source grows the lateral width of the meltpool before the feedstock is fed therein. A third energy source may be used to melt the feedstock. 
IP Reference GB2569673 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2019
Licensed No
Impact None so far
 
Description 1st NEWAM Open day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Several presentations to introduce the NEWAM research programme to the indutrial partners and non-partners. The main goal was to engage with the industry and discuss about the on-going and future collaboration. There was a lot of support offered from the industrial partners who are keen to be involved further in the programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Article in the UK Manufacturing Review (UKMR) 19/20 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This article is about the NEWAM research programme and aims to let the manufacturing community know about the next steps towards the next generation of additive manufacturing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://ukmfgreview.com/
 
Description Babcock visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Lab tour and discussion about the current projects
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Business trip to India 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The trip to India included visiting the following companies:
Velore - Interest in a short course and possibly participating in a project
Tata steel - Sponsoring of 1 PhD student
Fronius - Interested in the WAAM technology
Trinity - Interest in a short course
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Exhibiting at TCT Stars Of The Future Area, NEC 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The NEWAM stand had many visitors from different sectors (industry, research centres and academia). Most of them were interested in the research programme and a few showed interest in purchasing AM machines from the spinout company (WAAM3D) and starting an MSc course in Cranfield University. The NEWAM stand was the only one showing Wire plus Arc Aditive Manufacturing and large scale AM components and the visitors understood the benefit of this technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.tctmagazine.com/tct-events/tct-3sixty-uk/new-3d-printing-technologies-tct-show/
 
Description Exhibiting in the National Manufacturing Debate 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact There was a stand to promote the NEWAM research programme. The main outcome was an invitation to participate in the Advanced Engineering 2019 show - 30 & 31 October 2019, NEC, Birmingham
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/alumni/alumni-events/national-manufacturing-debate-2019
 
Description Invited lecture in Southampton 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited lecture on additive manufacture and laser processing. The main goal was to raise the academic awareness of our projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk in Europhoton 18 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Invited talk on fundamentals of material interaction in laser processing. The main outcome was the promotion of industrial applications within the scientific community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Lab tour for 207 Cranfield Squadron 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The 13 to 18 year old puplils visited the laboratory of the welding centre and learn about the most recent research projects on laser processing and additive manufacturing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) - Lab tour 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Cranfield University hosted the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) event. The 16 to 21 year old puplils visited the laboratory of the welding centre and learn about the most recent research projects on laser processing and additive manufacturing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.liysf.org.uk/liysf/scientific-visits/
 
Description Participation in MK Innovates 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact This was an outreach event with the purpose to enthuse students towards a career in STEM by showcasing innovative and exciting companies in MK and the surrounding areas, additionally to appeal to adults who may be considering a change of career. The stand had a few large scale AM components and a 3D printer printing funcional parts.
The event was successful with people from different ages interested in the MSc courses and the pupils interested in the technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.mkinnovates.co.uk/
 
Description Participation in the Advanced Engineering 2019 - NEC 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The stand had many visitors from different sectors (industry, research centres and academia). Most of them were interested in the research programme and on the MSc courses. The visitors undertood the benefit of using Wire Plus Arc Additive Manufacturing to build large scale components.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.thenec.co.uk/whats-on/advanced-engineering/
 
Description Presentation in ICALEO 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Expression of interest from international companies on the work presented.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2018
 
Description TeenTech MK - A STEM outreach activity 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact TeenTech run a number of programmes to help young people understand the opportunities in contemporary industry, changing the perceptions of those who may have dismissed them as 'not for me'. The festival activity brought together 30 schools from across the region for a carefully planned day where they took part in challenges with digital, tech, engineering and science companies.
The stand had the following: 3D printer demo, mechanical testing demo, portable microscope, video of the AM process.
At the end of the demo the pupils were asked to think about something that could be 3D printed and to write their ideas on post-its. The best ideas were rewarded with goody bags.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.teentech.com/teentech-events/
 
Description Visit to university by a local school - lab tour - St. Paul School 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact This was a successful event. There was a lab tour and a demonstration with the 3D printer which caught the attention of the pupils and helped them understanding the technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Visitors from Singaporean National Additive Manufacture Centre 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Discussion about future collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Workshop: Manufacturing of Advanced Structural Materials for Transport Systems, India, Vellore Institute of Technology 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact The two day workshop covered the following: Additive manufacturing, laser processing, advanced joining processes and the NEWAM research programme. The aim was to promote the NEWAM research programme and also the post-graduate courses in Cranfield University. A few undergraduate students are planning to do an MSc in Cranfield University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL http://info.vit.ac.in/events-vit/structural-materials/apply.asp