Investment Into Wire Based-Additive Manufacturing Firm Brings Technology Closer to Market

Investment Into Wire Based-Additive Manufacturing Firm Brings Technology Closer to Market

WAAM3D Ltd., a spin-out company from Cranfield University, supported by MICRA funding, has received a significant investment from Accuron Technologies Ltd, an international engineering and technology group headquartered in Singapore.

WAAM3D Ltd. is commercialising Wire-bAsed Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) technologies developed at Cranfield University by a team led by Professor Stewart Williams, and will be rolling it out into the aerospace, energy and other industries.

Professor Williams, Head of the Welding Engineering and Laser Processing Centre at Cranfield University, said: “For more than a decade we have been researching and developing this technology; it is set to have an enormous impact on manufacturing businesses around the world. I’m delighted that we can now really start to commercialise WAAM and bring real world products to market.”

CEO of WAAM3D Ltd, Dr Filomeno Martina, said: “There is huge market potential for this technology, based on the interest we have been receiving from various industry sectors for over 10 years. We are delighted to be partnering with Accuron Technologies to bring WAAM forward. The company will bring in as many as 20 staff in the coming year to scale up operations. We also aim to keep close links with Cranfield University, as well as other institutional and industrial partners, internationally.”

A real chance to transform manufacturing

Tan Kai Hoe, President and CEO of Accuron Technologies, said: “We are really excited about this opportunity to invest into WAAM3D. We have been looking at several additive manufacturing technologies for a while, and we think WAAM3D’s process has a real chance to transform manufacturing. We are very impressed with the company’s technology and expertise, which allows it to make large, high-quality parts for real-world applications. With our capital investment and industrial knowledge, we hope to help the company realise its true potential.”

WAAM has the potential to fabricate large metal components with low cost and short production lead time. It uses an electric arc or laser to melt metal wire; it is highly accurate, cost-effective, as well as environmentally-friendly with hugely reduced emissions and material consumptions.

At the forefront of new research

Cranfield University has been at the forefront of WAAM research over the last decade and has garnered the interest of many industry partners in this technology and won many accolades. For example, at the 3D Printing Awards 2019, Cranfield University and WAAM3D won the “Aerospace or Automotive Application of the year” prize. The University will continue focussing its research on new processes such as NEWAM (New Wire Additive Manufacturing) via industrial projects and grants from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Robert Evans, Technology Transfer Manager at Cranfield University, said: “This is without doubt one of the most promising technologies that I have helped to commercialise, it can make a huge impact on manufacturing and also it is ground breaking for a spin-out to receive investment from an organisation like Accuron, we’ve had superb support from the company.”

Fostering innovation

Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University, said: “Cranfield University fosters innovation and has a clear focus on applied research which impacts industry today and in the future. I’m delighted to see this new technology take a big step forward and welcome Accuron Technologies’ support and investment.”

WAAM3D Ltd has received support from the Midlands Innovation Commercialisation of Research Accelerator (MICRA) a consortium of 8 Midlands Universities, and joins the portfolio of successful spin-outs that Cranfield University has generated, including Halo X-Ray Technologies Ltd, MIP Diagnostics Ltd and Corrosion Radar Ltd.

Notes to editors:

WAAM techniques are attracting interest from the manufacturing industry because of their potential to produce large metal components with low cost and short production lead times. This process exists alongside other metal AM technologies such as laser-powder-bed fusion electron-beam melting.

WAAM3D website: www.waam3d.com

For further information please contact: 

Media Relations, Cranfield University. T: +44 (0) 1234 75 4999

Email: mediarelations@cranfield.ac.uk

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