Print Near Net Shape Metal Parts up to 100 Cubic Feet and 3.3 Tons

The GTarc Machine uses arc welding in an additive process.

In the metal additive industry, there are several
established technological players, including selective laser sintering (SLS),
direct energy deposition (DED), powder bed fusion (PBF) and more. Until
recently, however, there hasn’t been a wire-based, arc welding additive

Enter Gefertec’s 3D Metal Printing (3DMP).

Using arc welding of metal wire, the final part is formed by
welding layer by layer. The resolution of the machine is +/- 0.3 cm, and all
parts must be machined conventionally for finishing. This negates some of the advantages
of additive manufacturing, such as the ability to build impossible geometries
and complex internal structures, but offers a range of advantages compared to additive
manufacturing technologies which are based on powder as the original material. 

Image Courtesy of Gefertec.

Image Courtesy of Gefertec.

For example, there is no elaborate powder handling process,
and most standard materials are available as wire at significantly lower prices—around
10 percent of powder methods. The main benefit is the high production speed,
which can be up to 600 cm3 (36 in3) per hour, depending
on the material.

The GTarc Machine is available as a 3-axis version for parts
up to 3 m3 (100 ft3) and as a 5-axis version for parts up
to 0.8 m³ (28 ft3). These large-format characteristics show that the
machining center is designed to build complex and larger parts made of steel,
nickel, titanium or aluminum. The GTarc machine is built in a modular way,
making future upgrades possible. For example, customers can upgrade the 3-axis
version with a pan-tilt-table to obtain the 5-axis version.

According to Gefertec, their first customers are already
using the new GTarc. The FIT Group, a leading expert in Additive Design &
Manufacturing, offers rapid prototyping. Siemens AG is using the new technology
in its Digital Factory (DF) division.

A special 3DMP CAM software calculates the data out of the
CAD-modeled part, which enables the CNC-control unit to position the welding
head with high precision. The machine produces the near-net-shape part fully
automatically. The finishing of the part is done externally by standard CNC
milling machine.

Compared to other manufacturing methods, metal additive
manufacturing techniques like 3DMP have a near-maximum material utilization,
which leads to substantial cost savings, especially when working with expensive
materials such as titanium. Depending on the application, manufacturing costs can
potentially decrease up to 60 percent.

Check out our video on this machine here. 

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