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Development of Wire 3D (Wir3D) Printing Parameters

[+] Author Affiliations
Wesley S. Hunko, Lewis N. Payton

Auburn University, Auburn, AL

Paper No. IMECE2016-66186, pp. V002T02A064; 8 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 2: Advanced Manufacturing
  • Phoenix, Arizona, USA, November 11–17, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5052-7
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Currently additive manufacturing techniques offer great detail in small, difficult to produce parts. They are also relatively slow, limited in scale and very expensive (especially so in the additive manufacturing of metals realm). Wire and arc additive manufacturing enables manufacturers to build parts by depositing metal in layers using welding techniques. The extremely inexpensive Wire 3D (Wir3D) printing process, in development by the authors, uses an electric arc to melt metals at higher deposition rates than other additive techniques in metals. Large parts can be created quicker with less material waste or total machining time than subtractive manufacturing. Unique metal alloys can also be quickly and economically produced without worry of tool wear and the other drawbacks that are related to super alloy manufacturing as with subtractive techniques. A Wir3D additive machine was designed, constructed and evaluated at Auburn University. The wire deposition machine features a modular, open frame design allowing for easy access and continuous upgrades. The machine, which is based upon gas metal arc welding (GMAW) technology, is extremely rapid compared to other additive processes currently available at producing metal objects. Although it cannot currently compete with laser or electron beam additive methods in terms of resolution, these methods will never be able to compete with Wir3D in terms of speed for bulky print jobs, or especially material costs. During the literature review of this emerging technology, it became apparent that a standard reporting format would greatly increase future developments in the field by all researchers. A standard parametric data sheet was developed to establish a common data set for future researchers (included at end) during the experiments’ execution incorporating all of the parameters reported variously in the scattered literature. The printer described in this paper constructed for very little money by students working together. In the development, voltage and current requirements for different wire diameters were analyzed along with resulting wall widths and heights. The tensile strengths of deposited steel structures were measured in multiple orientations achieving up to 90% of standard material values in one orientation. Deposited steel structures were found to be heat treatable. With improved controls and in-process feedback, one-off castings can be easily replaced using this process in a wide array of metals. The wire 3D printing process is a viable option for low cost and rapid manufacturing of metallic objects [1].

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Wire , Printing



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