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Using Cura for WAAM


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Posted · Using Cura for WAAM

Howdy Y'all, I am trying to to use Cura slicer for WAAM. To say I have hit some hurdles would be an understatement. The first technical challenge I have ran into is overlap setting. For successful laying of welds there has to be a relatively large overlay between beads. I have looked through Cura and can not find any settings that specifically allow me to dictate the overlap between skin and walls. I also am not sure if Cura is capable of calling a weld start or stop opposed to retraction and extrude. I am not super code savvy and do not have the ability to personally modify Cura. Has anyone had luck with Cura for WAAM?

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    Posted · Using Cura for WAAM

    Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing patented in 1920?  I've never heard of it but most of my work was spent designing spot welding machines for the automotive industry.  There were a few simple MIG welders involved but my end was designing the holding and clamping fixtures for those.


    Overlap setting...I don't believe so.  BUT the wire system can do an overlap independent of the gcode?

    • The Line Width setting is also the index distance between two movements on a skin, wall, or any move where an extrusion goes down next to a previous extrusion.  If you were to set it to 1mm and the weld bead was 2mm wide then you would have an overlap of .5mm on either side?
    • Within the Top/Bottom settings is an Overlap setting for skin to walls.  I think it always refers to the inner most wall.
    • The weld start might be problematic if you need to dip the gun to strike an arc.  Stop might have the same problem.  Some firmware allows for a call to an outside gcode file using M32.  You might be able to set up Start and Stop scripts that would be called when needed.
    • Cura is not capable of following a path that requires Z movement so any angled weld surface or curves that rise and fall would need something different.
    • Also in regards to start and stop - the Laser Etcher crowd makes do somehow.  On and off on retraction and prime or something?  Dunno.
    • Much time has passed since I worked with them but the robotic MIG welders back in the day were often programmed via a pendant.  The operator would simply move the gun around and the system would remember the path.  Maybe it's gone beyond that now and someone may have came up with software to do it ahead of time?  
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