Welding product manufacturer Lincoln Electric has been awarded with $1m in funding for pursuing its patented laser hot wire technology for additive manufacturing (AM) – commonly known as 3D-printing.

With the awarded funding from the public-private partnership organisation American Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in the US, Lincoln Electric will build upon an existing, alpha-generation CAD-to-path robotic software tool and will test and refine it for a first commercial release.

As a result, this latest round of funding will help the US-based business boost its technology to the next level of commercialisation, paving the way towards enabling both medium and large area additive manufacturing projects.

Doug Rhoda, President of Wolf Robotics, enthused, “This award is another step in a multi-year journey advancing robotic additive manufacturing, an effort that has engaged several members of the Wolf Robotics team. As a team, we are moving this game-changing, additive-manufacturing capability forward in much faster and more effective ways than we ever could accomplish individually.”

“As a team, we are moving this game-changing, additive-manufacturing capability forward in much faster and more effective ways than we ever could accomplish individually”

Upon completion, the team expects to have developed a commercially available, multi-planner CAD-to-path software tool in order to enable the production of both medium and big-area AM manufactured parts within the mainstream market.

The successful project team also includes: Caterpillar Inc., EWI, GKN Aerospace, IPG Photonics Corp., ITAMCO, Oak Ridge National Lab, United Technologies Corp., and University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Combined, the team entered its $2m ‘MULTI: Source/FeedStock/Meter-Scale METAL AM Machine’ project.