WAAM is a unique business opportunity, offering a novel, cost-effective solution for prototyping, producing and repairing large or complex metal parts. The WAAM technology allows to control material properties down to the nanoscale and is also unbeatable in terms of production times, making it uniquely suited for large and functionally demanding engineering structures – plenty of good reasons for companies to consider adopting WAAM!
In order to raise awareness of WAAM among industrials across Europe, the Grade2XL project organizes the WAAM Experience Days, a series of events to promote WAAM as “the next big thing”. Targeted at industrial SMEs and companies, the WAAM Experience Days provide an opportunity to learn about the WAAM technology, understand its advantages compared to conventional processes and assess its potential as a business opportunity.
This fall, three WAAM Experience Days were organized by the Grade2XL partners in France and in the Netherlands.
WAAM Experience Day at Naval Group, Nantes-Indret (France)
On 25 October 2022, the Grade2XL project held its first WAAM Experience Day at Naval Group Nantes-Indret, France. The event was co-organized by three Grade2XL partners: Naval Group, Pôle EMC2 and Shapers’ with contributions from CETIM (Technical Center for Mechanical Industry) and PCM.
As the European leader in Naval Defense, Naval Group is at the forefront of additive manufacturing for maritime applications – the company built with its partner, Centrale Nantes, the world’s first hollow propeller blades with additive manufacturing. Within the Grade2XL consortium, Naval Group is in charge of the manufacturing of two WAAM demonstrators. The WAAM Experience Day offered therefore an exclusive opportunity to access the premises of Naval Group and to visit their WAAM facilities.
The event was fully booked with a total of 30 participants from local SMEs, companies and RTOs who learned about the multiple possibilities offered by the WAAM technology for the manufacturing of large and complex metal parts. The day included technical presentations on Additive Manufacturing, WAAM, and the Grade2XL project, but also testimonies from manufacturers on the adoption of WAAM, as well as expert advice on the good practices and challenges to be considered by industrials to adopt the WAAM for their own business.
WAAM Experience Days organized by Valk Welding at RAMLAB, Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Compiègne (France)
Two additional WAAM Experience Days were organized in November by Valk Welding and RAMLAB – both partners of the Grade2XL project. The first was held on 8 November at RAMLAB in Rotterdam, Netherlands and gathered over 120 participants. The second took place on 17 November at Valk Welding in Lacroix-Saint-Ouen near Compiègne, in France with over 40 attendees. In both cases companies and academic institutions were present to learn about the applications of WAAM and the benefits of printing and repairing multi material parts.
Vincent Wegener, managing director at RAMLAB, gave a presentation about the latest developments of the Grade2XL project and, in both locations, the mobile MaxQ Cobot installation was shown to demonstrate the repair of the Kuznia die, one of the demonstrators of the Grade2XL project.
Many participants shared enthusiastic feedback on the events, stating that it was a educational and useful day with a major focus on innovation and technology. Participants emphasized the quality of the presentations and appreciated the demonstration of the MaxQ cobot installation. Furthermore, attendees stressed that RAMLAB was a great and inspiring choice for hosting such event. It is expected that these events will result in further contacts around the topic of WAAM.
In total, the three WAAM Experience Days gathered over 170 participants in three different regions in France and the Netherlands, contributing to increase awareness about the potential of WAAM for industry. In view of the success of these events, the Grade2XL project partners expect to repeat the WAAM Experience Day in 2023.