The 3D printing specialist WAAM3D has won the Hub Breakthrough Award at the Aerospace Technology and Innovation (ATI) Awards. This award recognizes the UK start-up that has the greatest potential to impact the aerospace industry and will support the path to net-zero emissions for commercial aviation by 2050.
The award was presented by Harry Malins, Chief Innovation Officer of the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), and Holly Greig, Deputy Director of Aviation Decarbonization at the Department for Transport.
WAAM3D was recognized for its impressive innovations in the field of Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM), a technology that has the potential to fundamentally change production methods in the aerospace industry. The jury particularly praised the successful commercialization of over 300 years of academic research based on 300 scientific publications, 40 doctoral theses and over 100 master’s projects.
A key aspect of WAAM technology is the ability to achieve forging microstructures and mechanical properties in structures produced using WAAM. This makes WAAM a viable option for the production of high-quality components required in the aerospace industry.
WAAM3D is a leader in large-scale metal additive manufacturing (AM). The company has demonstrated the feasibility of some of the largest critical structures ever produced, including primary titanium fuselage components for fighter jets, flap ribs, wing spars and ribs.
Dr Filomeno Martina, CEO and co-founder of WAAM3D said: “We are delighted to win this award. Our relentless innovation is once again spotlighted, as is the strength of our unique team. Our collaborations with leading organisations within UK aerospace have yielded some outstanding results.
“Lead times have been reduced from years to weeks, material utilisation has increased from 2% up to 90%,Embodied Energy and equivalent CO2 emissions have been more than halved, and supply chain risks greatly reduced. In the modern multi-polar world, looking at AM is key to protect and improve your business. It’s a great honour to be recognised by the ATI for our research and development and the positive impact we are having on the aerospace sector, at home and abroad.”
WAAM3D’s commercial success was also highlighted, including securing millions of pounds in funding and equity investment, creating 45 jobs in the UK and Singapore, and engaging with the local ecosystem, including promoting STEM subjects and inspiring young engineers.
This success underlines the growing importance of 3D printing in the industry and demonstrates how innovative approaches can help increase efficiency and sustainability in aviation.