RAMLAB Welding Machine
RAMLAB's brand-new welding machine is able to 3D print metal objects of 2 x 2 x metres with ease
During the grand opening, RAMLAB will introduce their Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) robots and showcase the innovative world of AM to their guests.
Its brand-new welding machine, in particular, is expected to impress the public but the machine hasn’t yet been released from its protective plastic wrap. RAMLAB has been preserving the machine during its transportation and installation before it is unveiled tomorrow. It comprises of two big manipulators that can move an object it multiple directions while it is being welded. The red robotic welding arm, which is attached to an assembly line making it highly manoeuvrable, does most of the labour.
“With its impressive size it will be able to 3D print metal objects of 2 x 2 x metres with ease,” said RAMLAB Managing Director, Vincent Wegener. “It’s quite unique in the world to have such a system. We are probably the first and most ambitious lab in the world when it comes to large size additive manufacturing.”
The machine is based on WAAM technology which, at present, is the most suitable technology for the production of large metal parts. Using an electric arc as its heat source and steel wire as feedstock, it has many technical advantages. Being much cheaper and less time-consuming, it makes use of ready-made steel objects to be printed on in an efficient manner.
“This means that, when a propeller is made for example, the welding machine doesn’t have to print the core of the object first, but only has to weld the blades. That saves a lot of time,” added Wegener.
Once in use, the machine will be covered by light blocking blinds and fitted with an exhaust system. The printer will be able to work on multiple tasks at any one time. It will also make use of shielding gas to prevent contaminants in the environment interfering with the ongoing processes.
Valk Welding, a RAMLAB partner and robotic welding system specialist, has installed the machinery. The company has also provided RAMLAB with a slightly smaller system, which has already been in use for three months.
RAMLAB is also receiving hardware from companies other than Valk Welding, and the RAMLAB team are working hard to ensure the lab is a success.
“Everybody is working together on this. And that’s the true power of RAMLAB: we don’t waste time talking, but we are working hard to get things done,” said Wegener. “It’s the Rotterdam ‘can do’ mentality. And that’s what will ultimately make RAMLAB a success.”