WAAM3D Ltd., a spin-out company from Cranfield University, has received major investment from Accuron Technologies Ltd, an international engineering and technology group headquartered in Singapore. WAAM3D Ltd. is commercialising Wire bAsed Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) technology 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 a huge market potential for this technology, based on the interest we have been receiving from various industry sectors. 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 can be used to produce large metal components with low cost and short production lead times. It uses an electric arc or laser to melt metal wire; is highly accurate, cost-effective, as well as environmentally-friendly with greatly reduced emissions and material consumptions.
At the forefront of new research
Cranfield University has been at the forefront of WAAM research 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 focusing its world leading 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 we have helped to commercialise. It will make a huge impact on manufacturing and it is also ground breaking for a spin-out to receive investment from an organisation like Accuron, we’ve had superb support from the company.”
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 eight Midlands Universities and joins the large portfolio of successful spin-outs that Cranfield University has generated.
Notes for 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 and electron-beam melting.