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1. What is the technology used to print metal parts?

FabriBotics use Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (aka; WAAM, Arc-DED). We build up parts

from metal wire, melting the wire with an electric arc and positioning the molten material

with robotic arms.

2. How does WAAM differ from other 3D printing techniques e.g. SLM?

Bigger, faster, cheaper than established metal 3D printing technologies.

Bigger – Printing parts in the 1kg to 1000kg+ size range.

Faster – deposition rates in the 1.5 to 15kg/Hr are possible.

Cheaper – WAAM parts cost much less $/kg.

3. Are there any commercial examples of WAAM printed parts being used, and in what


WAAM has been used to make parts in aerospace, marine, architectural, sculpture and civil

engineering applications. Examples include a 12m long pedestrian bridge in Amsterdam and

a 35m 1.25 tonne orbital payload Rocket.

4. Where can I find more information on WAAM?

5. What metals are used by Fabribotics?

So Far: Stainless steel 316, Mild steel, Si Bronze, Aluminium 5183.

Future: Titanium, P20 and other tool steels, Maraging Steel, custom materials.

6. Are any metals not suitable for WAAM?

Most weldable metal materials, which are available in wire form, are candidates for 3D

Additive Metal Manufacturing.

7. What is near-net shape (NNS) billet?

A Near-Net Shape billet is a WAAM produced pre-form designed to be within 90% of the

final shape prior to being CNC machined to produce the final part. Being Near-net (final)

shape minimises waste and expensive CNC machine time.

Any size or shape billet can be created from a single stock of suitable wire. Adopting 3D

Additive Metal Manufacturing could spell an end to long lead-times or stocks of different

size billets.

8. How does the cost of 3D printing compare with traditional methods?

WAAM is typically cheaper than CNC machining conventional billets or casting in small

volumes. Let us give you a quote!

9. Are there any size and shape limitations to using WAAM?

There is no fundamental size limit, as individual WAAM parts can be combined to make very

large structures in principle. Our current system has a standard 1mx0.6mx0.6m general build envelope, with larger parts

possible depending on shape. In conventional manufacturing processes like Fabrication, Casting and CNC machining; Mass

is cheap and complexity costs! For 3D Additive Metal Manufacturing the opposite applies:

Complexity is cheap and Mass costs!

10. How do WAAM printed parts perform in comparison to machined or cast parts?

Our WAAM 316L stainless steel meets ASTM standards for Billet mechanical properties.

WAAM material quality can be generally considered better than most cast and is

approaching billet levels.

11. When is it better to WAAM versus traditional methods?

Like all manufacturing processes, 3D Additive Metal Manufacturing has limitations to respect

and opportunities to exploit. WAAM is at its most effective when several of the following

characteristics apply:

  • Difficult to make by conventional processes (cast, CNC machine from billet)

  • Tooling is sought to be avoided

  • The material is weldable and available in suitable wire form

  • Volumes are small or unique

  • Significant changes to design are expected (Prototyping)

  • Lightweight parts are machined from heavy conventional billets (material waste)

  • Billet or spare part availability is limited (long lead time, custom size)

  • Repairs where replacement parts are expensive, obsolete or suffer long lead times

12. What information is required to quote a 3D print job?

A brief description of the part, material required and a CAD solid model is a good place to

start the quoting process. We also offer 3D scans of parts converting to CAD.

13. After printing, who machines the finished products?

Any good machine shop should encounter no special problems machining WAAM parts. If

you have no machinist, talk to us to arrange one.

14. What other finishing techniques does Fabribotics offer?

WAAM parts can be finished by a number of methods, depending on requirements.

Media blasting, chemical etching, passivation, electropolishing, electroplating, linishing are

available from us or via 3 rd parties.

15. Does Fabribotics warranty the parts produced?

FabriBotics work hard with our customers to produce innovative solutions and print the

highest quality materials. Our in-house materials lab can provide test results to support

customers engineering processes. The final part design and application performance is the

responsibility of the customer.

16. I see WAAM machines are available to buy. Can WAAM machines be bought through




Thanks for your Enquiry!

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