Robotised Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing Using Set-based Control: Experimental Results
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Additive manufacturing (AM) is a term that covers a variety of techniques for building custom-made, three dimensional structures. Such methods have moved from initially being used for creating simpli_ed models to enable visualising of a product in a developing process, to creating structures that are suitable as end-products (Gibson et al., 2010). This has made prototyping and the production of custom made parts more accessible to small companies and developers, and AM technologies are still gaining momentum. However, traditional methods for AM are limited to building structures that are smaller than the AM apparatus itself, and bound to building structures layer by layer. The motivation for combining AM with a robot manipulator is to increase the workspace of the build, making it possible to build much larger structures, and to deposit material in any direction. The focus of this research is large-scale AM in metal, so the work presented in this paper focuses on a set-based control method for wire-arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) of a cylindrical, thin-walled structure. The set-based control method used to control the robot manipulator allows for some freedom in the orientation of the tool, so that the material is not necessarily deposited strictly vertically. Evaluating how this impacts the structure helps map how feasible this solution is for building more complex structures in future work.