3D Printing ProcessesLFAMMetal Additive Manufacturing

ADDere shows viability of 3D printing large, high-mass metal parts

Stay up to date with everything that is happening in the wonderful world of AM via our LinkedIn community.

ADDere, the metal AM arm of Wisconsin-based Midwest Engineered Systems (MWES), has demonstrated how its Laser Wire Additive Manufacturing (LWAM) technology is a viable solution for large-scale metal 3D printing. The company says its technology is capable of building large-scale, high-mass components for industries such as aerospace, energy, marine, defense and more.

As powder-based metal AM technologies continue to progress, the focus has increasingly turned to the production of small-scale parts. In other words, scaling up powder-based metal AM processes has remained a distinct challenge. ADDere says its LWAM technology offers a viable alternative for manufacturers seeking to explore AM for larger scale parts.

“Currently, the AM focus has been on powder based metal systems. That focus had a lot of potential markets stuck on the outside looking in,” commented Scott Woida, ADDere President. “But those industries now see a legitimate 3D printing roadmap for their parts through what we’ve been doing with ADDere.”

ADDere high mass LWAM

The Wisconsin company’s LWAM technology uses a combination of laser power, which is used to melt the base material, and hot wire, which is used to pre-heat the welding wire. The system uses a 6-axis industrial robot to deposit the metal wire with flexibility and precision. The metal AM technology is compatible with a range of metals, including titanium, carbon steel, duplex stainless steel and Inconel.

To demonstrate the technology’s capability, ADDere 3D printed a series of metal blocks made from titanium and 17-4 stainless steel. The blocks all have the same dimensions (15 x 15 x 30 cm) and are completely solid (weighing 32 kg in titanium and 55 kg in stainless steel). Impressively, each large-format block took just over six hours to print.

According to ADDere, the blocks 3D printed using its LWAM process have better metallurgy than blocks made using more traditional casting processes. They also demonstrate how much mass ADDere’s process can deposit to build up a strong structure. Evidently, the LWAM process is not intended for the same applications as powder bed fusion systems—which are often adopted to achieve lightweighting goals. Rather, the technology could open up new applications for metal AM.

“We’ve already proven we can build things at large scales, these blocks show we can 3D print parts with substantial mass in a relatively competitive timeframe with casting,” added Pete Gratschmayr, VP of Sales & Marketing at ADDere. “Now real conversations can be had about printing large, high mass components like transmission cases, truck frames and turbine engine mounts without adding ‘in the future’ to the sentence. We can do it today.” 

Research 2021
Ceramic AM Market Opportunities and Trends

This market study from 3dpbm Research provides an in-depth analysis and forecast of the ceramic additive ma...

Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

Related Articles

Back to top button

We use cookies to give you the best online experience and for ads personalisation. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Accept all Services



Join industry leaders and receive the latest insights on what really matters in AM!

This information will never be shared with 3rd parties

I’ve read and accept the privacy policy.*