Large-Scale 3D Metal Printing Services for the Aerospace, Defense, and Space Industry

Our proprietary large-scale 3D metal printing technology makes BIG items in LESS time.

Overview

Our Industry-Leading Large-Scale 3D Metal Printing Capabilities

Save time, reduce direct and indirect costs, explore more possibilities, and operate more efficiently than traditional manufacturing operations by using our large-scale 3D metal printing technology for your next large tool.

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a revolutionary technology that holds promise to revolutionize manufacturing as we know it. However, the vast majority of existing technologies are limited in terms of build envelope and production rates, forcing users to forego their use altogether or compromise on size, material waste, and more.

Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM)

One type of 3D metal printing, wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM), also known as Gas Metal Arc Additive Manufacturing (GMAAM), has gained attention in recent years due to its ability to produce large metal components with high accuracy, efficiency, and countless other benefits.

Our proprietary, state-of-the-art WAAM technology presents a strong additive manufacturing solution for a diverse range of large-scale aerospace, defense, and space tools and components.

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We are uniquely positioned in this space to bring the right experience and technologies for your project, based on your material and application requirements. Using GMAW arc welding or laser hot-wire processes, we can tap into a deep well of welding deposition, equipment, and automation knowledge to meet your needs. Every step is customized to deliver the best material, design, and end product for your specific application. Every conversation is a collaboration between our team and yours. Every outcome is designed to meet your operational needs.

Commercial Considerations for Large-Scale 3D Metal Printing

Reduce Lead Times

Reduce lead times from months or years to weeks or days, especially compared to traditional processes like bump-forming

Expanded Design Freedom

Reduce weight, mix multiple materials, and incorporate features and geometries that were previously difficult or impossible

Produce Functional Prototypes

Quickly test actual use in real environments

Reduce Inventory Costs

Print on demand and eliminate supply chain bottlenecks

Reduce Manufacturing Operations

Fewer operations. Fewer handoffs.

Reduce Material Waste

Use less material compared to subtractive processes

Pysical Considerations for Large-Scale 3D Metal Printing

Materials

We can 3D print a variety of industrial metals, including combinations of materials.

Size

Unlock new possibilities: tools produced using our large-scale 3D metal printing technology are measured in feet or meters, not mere inches.

Complexity

Tackle part geometries and features that are challenging or impossible for traditional processes like casting, machining, and bump-forming.

Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing Materials

Material
Description
MDS
Material Data Sheets for 17-4 PH Stainless Steel, Nickel Alloy 617, Nickel Alloy 625, Nickel Alloy 718, and Nickel-Aluminum-Bronze coming soon. Drafts are available upon request.
Aluminum-Nickel-Bronze
Known for its excellent corrosion resistance and high strength-to-weight ratio, making it an ideal material for a variety of applications, especially in marine and offshore environments.
Invar® 36
A nickel-iron alloy known mainly for its extremely low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). Its moderately high strength, good ductility, and toughness, along with excellent fatigue and mechanical properties at cryogenic temperatures, make it a popular choice for a variety of demanding applications.
Nickel Alloy 617
A high-temperature, corrosion-resistant, nickel-based superalloy known for its excellent strength and oxidation resistance at high temperatures, making it a popular choice for use in high-stress environments.
Nickel Alloy 625
A nickel-based superalloy with high strength, excellent corrosion resistance, and good weldability, making it a popular choice for applications requiring corrosion and heat resistance.
Nickel Alloy 718
A high-strength, corrosion-resistant nickel chromium alloy known for its good fatigue strength, weldability, and high creep-rupture strength at high temperatures.
17-4 PH Stainless Steel
A precipitation-hardening martensitic stainless steel with high strength and hardness, good corrosion, wear, and fatigue resistance, and good machinability, weldability, and formability.
316LSi Stainless Steel
Known mainly for its good atmospheric and chemical corrosion resistance. It has high creep strength, stress-to-rupture, and tensile strength at high temperatures as well as excellent toughness at cryogenic temperatures.
410NiMo Stainless Steel
Known for its high strength and hardness as well as good resistance to atmospheric corrosion and mildly corrosive environments, high temperature oxidation, scaling resistance, and excellent wear resistance.
High-Strength, Low-Alloy Steel
Known for its high tensile and yield strength as well as its atmospheric corrosion resistance. Has good notch toughness and strength-to-weight ratio along with excellent formability and ductility.
Low-Carbon Steel
Offers a good balance of strength, toughness, and ductility. Has a higher yield strength than typical carbon steel grades such as ASTM A36 and A516 Grade 60 and offers machinability and weldability.
SculptPrint™ OS logo

Not Your Typical Robotic Programming

CAD-to-Path Planning

With large-format wire-based metal additive manufacturing, the component is manipulated while depositing material. Advanced software is critical to address complex path-planning and coordinated motion between the robot and the positioner.

Large-scale 3D metal printing path planning

Full control over each layer’s wire path allows for optimal process parameters and material deposition.

Maintaining Optimal Layer Height and Part Dimensions

We have developed height-sensing and adaptive feedback software to maintain tight customer-specified tolerances.

Complex Parts

Complex tool printing can be achieved using advanced robots collaborating with rotating positioners and motion-control software.

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Feedstock Selection

Features

Surface Finish

Your Complete Finished Tooling Provider

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a revolutionary technology that holds promise to revolutionize manufacturing as we know it. However, the vast majority of existing technologies are limited in terms of build envelope and production rates, forcing users to forego their use altogether or compromise on size, material waste, and more.

Large-scale 3D metal printing path planning

CAD-to-Path Software

Our proprietary SculptPrint™ OS software slices your CAD model, determines the ideal path for material deposition, and incorporates optimized process parameters for each layer.
A robotic cell for large-scale 3D metal printing services

Flexible Automation

Lincoln Electric manufactures and integrates our additive systems, including the robotic cells and positioners, arc power sources with application-specific Waveform Control Technology®, wire feeders, feedback and control, and Industry 4.0 IoT-ready production monitoring.
Wire feedstock for large-scale 3D metal printing services

Feedstock Manufacturer

Lincoln Electric also produces the wire feedstock material used to build your parts. These materials are produced to extremely tight chemical composition tolerances and feature controlled surface treatments, precision layer winding, and appropriate bulk packaging for additive applications.
The Emco MECOF Powermill, a large five-axis vertical CNC machining center for CNC machining large flight hardware and tooling for the aerospace, defense, and space industry

Post-Processing

We produce finished parts and tools made to your specifications, including a controlled additive build, machining, fabrication, and other operations required to deliver a complete product. 

Saving TIME is Your Biggest Advantage

Large-Scale 3D Metal Printing Applications in Aerospace, Defense, and Space

While it is one of the oldest 3D printing technologies, WAAM is relatively new in terms of commercialization and has not yet been certified or qualified for flight hardware applications. Thus, its aerospace, defense, and space applications have so far been limited to tooling. Learn more about its applications in other industries here.

WAAM presents a variety of strong benefits when used for tooling applications in aerospace, defense, and space manufacturing, especially for layup molds, trim fixtures, and other tooling used in composite part fabrication.

3D-Printed Tooling for Aerospace, Defense, and Space Manufacturing

New tooling is often a bottleneck in getting new manufacturing operations up and running on time, particularly as engineers often need to accommodate last-minute design changes. Additive manufacturing can eliminate the tooling bottleneck by providing design flexibility, adaptability to changes, shortened lead times, and cost savings.

Aerospace, Defense, and Space Large-Scale 3D Metal Printing Gallery

3D-Printed (including substructure) Composite Layup Mold
3D-Printed Composite Layup Mold (Invar®)

Ready to Get Your Project Off the Ground?

Speak to an aerospace, defense, and space industry large-scale 3D metal printing expert today! Our team is standing by, ready to help answer questions or get started on a quote for your project.