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RAF Technology®: Large metal additive manufacturing, in titanium or hard alloy, for competitively priced structural parts
By developing Rapid Additive Forging technology, Prodways has developed an innovative process focused on metallurgical quality and repeatability in an industrial setting.
Rapid Additive Forging technology was developed to serve demanding markets such as the aerospace market, where high-performance alloys like titanium are important. The parts produced with this technology meet this sector’s requirements, both in terms of metallurgical performance and traceability.
Shorter lead times
It can take several months to machine a new tool. This can be a real obstacle to the successful development of projects with tight deadlines that require a small series of parts. Rapid Additive Forging technology makes it possible to obtain large-sized blanks with the same mechanical properties as forged blanks in a matter of days. And this can be done for individual parts or for mass production.
Rapid Additive Forging technology allows the printing of a metal blank close to the final dimensions, therefore, little machining is required to obtain the desired part. Material loss is reduced and the buy-to-fly ratio is improved by up to 75% compared to conventionally machined parts. This reduction in material consumption and the shorter machining times reduce the cost of delivered parts by up to 40%.
TECHNOLOGY THAT IS _
Rapid Additive Forging technology is a reliable and robust technology based on three years of R&D in the field of additive manufacturing. It is the most competitive industrial process on the market for 3D titanium wire arc printing.
Prodways developed Rapid Additive Forging technology based on its expertise as an integrated player in 3D printing and by relying on the know-how in robotics and special machines of the Gorgé Group subsidiaries, of which Prodways belongs. The result is a proprietary industrial technology.
Large part size
Rapid Additive Forging (patent pending) is part of the Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) technology family. This technology makes it possible to create a blank in successive layers which is very close to the finished dimensions. This blank is then machined to obtain the final part. The advantage lies in the savings of material, the large part sizes that can be produced and the considerable reduction in machining time. After three years of R&D, Prodways has produced a reliable industrial machine which uses a process that is more competitive than other comparable technologies.
Repeatable metallurgical quality
Traceability to aerospace standards
Absence of porosity
Mechanical characteristics at the same level as forged parts
Excellent properties in all directions
Homogeneous layered construction
Lower-cost parts would be of limited value if their performance were inferior to the same parts made with a conventional process. This is why the engineers and researchers behind this process have focused all their attention on obtaining sound parts which have the same excellent qualities and characteristics as forged parts.
The advantages of wire
Raw material for the process available from stock
No health, safety and environment problems
The wire-based additive manufacturing process is relatively unknown in comparison with powder bed manufacture. However, in addition to providing exceptional results, the use of wire offers many advantages for manufacturers.
Rapid Additive Forging technology has revolutionized small and medium series production. The design is the same as for machined or forged parts, costs and lead times are reduced, and the characteristics comply with aerospace standards.
Prodways markets both Rapid Additive Forging machines and parts. Parts are blanks or finished parts, produced using the Rapid Additive Forging technology.
Production of finished parts using Rapid Additive Forging. Machined, inspected and delivered by our partner, a tier 1 aerospace supplier. The finished parts are competitively priced and meet aerospace quality standards.
Manufacture of blanks which are close to the final dimensions, intended for direct machining or forging. Prodways therefore enables manufacturers to save on their material costs, because they can purchase only the quantity needed for the final part.
Titanium alloys such as TA6V are suitable for industrial applications.
RAF technology was developed for this material because the high cost of titanium and the complex machining involved in producing these parts make the RAF process extremely attractive.
Prodways RAF has the expertise to work on the development of other alloys such as:
ProMaker RAF 50 features
|Part dimensions (max)||1200 x 800 x 500 mm|
|Accessibility||Front panel with overhead crane access, glove box and maintenance door|
|Software features||HMI interface, CAD slicing software, full traceability|
|Closed loop supervision||Process adjustment based in particular on the part’s thermal and dimensional data|