This particular model the Value Arc MA5000-S1, Additive Printer makes use of arc welding technology to deposit large amounts of metal cheaply... the result? Fast printing speeds and cheap materials.


The downside? In comparison to laser sintering techniques printing resolution is vastly reduced... the solution? Subtractive manufacturing where the rough billet is milled and finished to high tolerances using traditional subtractive milling techniques...


It seems as though machine manufacturers are waking up to Wire-Arc deposition technology (and this is being aided by the recent expiration of key patents held on the tech)...



... the machine prints using general-purpose arc welding wire, and is priced lower than most high-end industrial level 3D metal printers on the market today, at around 30 million Japanese Yen (approximatley $243,000). Material costs can be reduced by a factor of 10, and material availability is never a problem for owners of the Value Arc, especially when compared to the other 3D metal printers available.

The price tag is still prohibitively expensive, however it is a fine example of how wire-arc hybrid technology is being proven in demanding manufacturing environments. Just imagine how much better (cheaper and and more graceful) we will be able to make this technology in an open environment!

Here is a link to the full article...

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