GTarc Machines 3D Print Near-Net-Shape Metal Parts
Edited by AM Staff
Gefertec GmbH has released its GTarc machines, designed to manufacture metal parts efficiently and at a high production speed. The additive manufacturing (AM) technology is based on electric arc welding, using wire as the original material. The final part is formed by applying welding layer over welding layer. Compared to powder-based AM, the process is said to be less expensive, as most standard materials are available as wire at lower prices. The machines manufacture near-net-shape metal parts with quality comparable to standard manufacturing methods, the company says.
The machines are available in three versions. The three-axis version GTarc 3000-3 is able to produce parts as large as 3 m³. With an additional pan-tilt-table the five-axis version GTarc 800-5 is suitable for parts as large as 0.8 m³. In addition, there is the smaller five-axis GTarc 60-5 for parts as heavy as 200 kg.
CAM software calculates data from the CAD model, enabling the CNC unit to position the welding head with high precision and produce parts through a fully automated process. The technology is intended for fast and economical production of larger parts made of steel, nickel, titanium or aluminum.
Addere’s robot-based laser system builds using standard weld wire. The company was spawned from a robot integrator, and that background has been valuable for both overcoming the challenges and perceiving the possibilities of using a robot for metal 3D printing.
The WAAM system has demonstrated the ability to produce a titanium aircraft part, but titanium in particular requires protection against oxidation.
3D printing and robots enable one another. We miss the possibilities of one if we do not consider the other. The combination includes AM for end effectors, robots for 3D printing parts, and different modes of metal and plastic production.