Additive Manufacturing Strategies

AML3D Inks Deal to Create Alloys for WAM 3D Printing Technology

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Australian large scale metal 3D printing company AML3D Limited, specializing in providing commercial large-scale “Additive Metal Layering” 3D printing services to defense, maritime, automotive, and resources sectors, will partner with Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM). IFM is a vibrant, multicultural research institute addressing material challenges in the energy, mining, environment, health, transport, and manufacturing sectors.

The unprecedented framework agreement is designed to develop next-generation materials and alloys especially tailored to wire additive manufacturing (WAM®), advancing the technological and competitive advantage of AML3D by supporting projects that harness the unique facilities, capabilities, and expertise of IFM. WAM® combines an electric arc with the certified welding wire, as feedstock, to produce medium to large scale, free-form parts.

AML3D WAM feedstock alloy.

AML3D WAM feedstock alloy. Image courtesy of AML3D.

Optimizing technology for high-strength alloys, as wire feedstock for 3D printing and welding markets, is a fastidious focus of the partnership. It will assist the specific design of alloys that will provide high strength wire coil for printing, with no requirement for subsequent post-processing. In turn, it will create new markets and applications for WAM®, like maintenance and repair jobs where WAM® can be applied dead on to current vehicles and structures (where an ensuing heat treatment might not be possible).

Such exhilarating new technology to be created from the partnership is anxiously awaited to open new target industries and sectors for ALM3D, supporting geographical and sector-based expansions for them. For instance, AML3D and Deakin’s recent high strength aluminum–scandium wire feedstock project marks an expansion into the aerospace, marine, and defense sectors, with openings existing in the Asia Pacific (Japan, South Korea), Europe (Germany, France, and the UK) and North American markets as well as generating opportunity for bespoke wire feedstock slates through specific intellectual property (IP) and company-branded consumables.

As projects related to the framework agreement are already underway, AML3D has pinpointed more alloy development opportunities with commercial outcomes, which will be fleshed out individually under the agreement. As new projects relating to the partnership arise, AML3D looks forward to making future announcements.

Commenting on the new agreement, AML3D Managing Director Andrew Sales, said “the successful development of these alternative alloys provides significant potential upside for our business, not only through its application in WAM® and providing for other wire-fed DED processes, but the sales as a standalone feedstock product with widespread applications. The intended production of
wire feedstock will provide an alternative within the general welding technology market that exceeds current applications. Whilst applications through WAM® will provide customers greater flexibility in their choice of metal alloys, further enhancing the market-leading position of our technology.”

The large-scale ARCEMY WAAM 3D printer from AML3D.

The large-scale ARCEMY WAAM 3D printer from AML3D. Image courtesy of AML3D

Andrew Rau, Senior Commercial Manager at Deakin University, added, “IFM has a long and proud history of partnering with industry to deliver applied research leading to commercial outcomes. This exciting partnership with AML3D is perfectly aligned with the unique facilities and capabilities within IFM, and collectively we are looking forward to developing a range of unique alloy solutions enabling AML3D to continue to expand the markets and applications for their patented WAM® additive manufacturing process.”

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