MELD Manufacturing, the company that developed and commercialized a unique friction consolidation 3D printing process, showed off the scalability of its open-air capabilities by printing a ten-foot (3.05 meter) diameter aluminum cylinder, using off the shelf aluminum.
The size of the component is a milestone for the company and for the metal additive manufacturing industry as a whole. The MELD process continues to gain international users across industries because it allows the use of off the shelf metals in solid or powder form, creates fully dense parts, and operates in an open-air environment.
The patented process for creating and repairing metal components is unique because it does not melt the metal. Not melting metal enables the use of off the shelf metals not available to other 3D printing processes and facilitates wrought properties in printed material. MELD Manufacturing Corporation holds all patents and is the only manufacturer of MELD equipment. The company offers a line of machines for industrial use, as well as parts and services.
MELD Manufacturing holds more than a dozen patents for MELD technology. The process can take place in an open atmosphere, meaning no special chambers or vacuums are needed. This flexibility not only means less equipment and cost, but also increased scalability and can make parts bigger, better, and faster than other processes.
The MELD process is unlike any other and opens up the possibilities of working with materials that were once off the table and can even allow customers to work with unweldable metals. The combination of material freedom and scalability make MELD a revolution for a wide range of industries, including aerospace, defense, turbomachinery, and many others.
A wide range of materials can be used in MELD machines and materials are not limited to powders, unlike many similar processes. They are available as off-the-shelf materials, and can be purchased from any supplier.