Besides the possibility of producing large workpieces locally with WAAM technology, multi-material printing is also an important unique selling point. WAAM is not limited to one material, but can build workpieces from multiple materials. This offers the possibility of building a large product with only the shell in a more expensive corrosion or wear-resistant material and the core in a cheaper material. To investigate what you could do with all these possibilities on a larger level, WAAM is now being further developed together with 20 partners (including Valk Welding) from all over Europe in the Grade2XL project. With financial support from the EU, WAAM will be further developed over the next 4 years as an economically viable and sustainable alternative to conventional technologies.
For the Grade2XL project, the 3D printing container from Autodesk is now set up at Valk Welding. With 2 welding robots in one system, multi-material parts with new applications such as cooling channels will be printed there. A Cryogenic Cooling and Thermal Management system from Air Products, will also be applied. This will allow to increase further the deposition rate for printing, reduce the idle times for cooling down, provide an inert atmosphere within the working area and thus significantly increase more the productivity and product quality, whilst maintaining ideal thermal conditions.
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 862017.