WARF: P150236US01

3-D Printer for High Quality, Large-Scale Metal Parts


Thomas (Rock) Mackie, Brandon Walker

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a 3-D printer designed to balance cost and complexity and capable of producing high resolution metal parts for the automotive, aerospace and other industries.
OVERVIEWDespite recent advances in additive manufacturing, especially rapid plastic prototyping, there is still a need for better 3-D metal printers. Current techniques are relatively slow and not up to the task of producing large, high resolution models.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed a linear multisource 3-D printer capable of producing large, fully dense metal parts with micron resolution.

The highly practical design employs a mechanically scanned cathode comb, large metal powder bed and vacuum. The design ensures a tightly controlled focal spot size, minimizes the number of beam sources, produces large parts at full density and requires little or no post processing because of the high resolution print head.
  • Prototype car frames and bodies
  • Aerospace parts, turbines and jet engine chambers
  • Complex single parts
  • Custom-designed automotives
  • Large replacement components for ships/aircraft
  • Also amenable to high resolution plastic parts
  • Scales to very large sizes
  • Faster and more accurate than existing 3-D metal printing techniques
  • Simplified electron optics
  • Practical design
  • Minimal beam distortion or scatter
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENTThe development of this technology was supported by WARF Accelerator. WARF Accelerator selects WARF's most commercially promising technologies and provides expert assistance and funding to enable achievement of commercially significant milestones. WARF believes that these technologies are especially attractive opportunities for licensing.
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jeanine Burmania at or 608-960-9846.
The WARF Advantage

Since its founding in 1925 as the patenting and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WARF has been working with business and industry to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.