Application of multidirectional robotic wire arc additive manufacturing process for the fabrication of complex metallic parts
© 2005-2012 IEEE. Robotic wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) for the fabrication of metallic parts is garnering interest due to its advantages of low capital investment, high deposition rates, and good material properties. Although many achievements have been made, the build direction of WAAM remains confined to the vertical-up direction, requiring additional supporting structure to be deposited while fabricating metallic parts with overhanging features. In this article, a novel multidirectional WAAM process, using robotic gas metal arc welding, to additively manufacture metal components in multiple directions is presented. Several novel modules, including positional bead modeling, multidirection slicing, and deposition process optimization of the deposition process, are highlights of this article. In addition, the performance of the proposed multidirectional WAAM strategy is evaluated by the successful deposition of a sample workpiece with complex geometrical features. The proposed multidirectional WAAM process would significantly reduce the manufacturing time and cost.