Additive manufacturing with robotic GMAW

July 26, 2022
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Originally published in WELD Magazine, summer 2018

Additive manufacturing (AM) is an alternative to traditional reductive manufacturing processes. Reductive manufacturing processes start with a billet of raw material and remove excess material through processes such as thermal cutting and machining to achieve the desired final shape. A key objective of AM is to minimize the amount of material used by precisely depositing only material that is required, layer by layer, and building a component from the  base up as a near net shape. Prototype, complex, or replacement/ repair components can be rapidly produced in a variety of materials from a 3D model created using computer-aided design software and AM technology. 

As part of a 3-rd year capstone project in the Manufacturing Engineering Technology – Welding & Robotics program at Conestoga College in Cambridge, ON, the challenge was issued to demonstrate the viability of using AM to create relatively thin-walled (<5 mm thick) metallic shapes by adopting existing gas-metal arc welding (GMAW) technology, standard welding consumables, and delivering the process using a 6-axis robot programmed from the teach pendant. This paper documents the process of welding procedure development, programming, production, and finishing, culminating in the creation of an item that any student of welding technology would appreciate: a stainless-steel beverage container. 

Read the full report 

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