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Copyright (c) 2021 Journal of Additive Manufacturing Technologies
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Wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) method has emerged as a powerful platform for fabricating medium-to-large scale dense structural parts having low cost, higher deposition rate and material efficiencies compared to other additive manufacturing (AM) methods. This research work proposes a deposition tool path strategy for the parts with varying cross-sections in building directions. Different cross-section profiles in workpiece geometry complicate and increase the complexity of the tool path planning. Moreover, changing the cross-section profiles may cause to change in the heat dissipation and heat accumulation in various points of each layer. Thus, heat dissipation affects the dimensional tolerances of the workpiece during the process. In this study, firstly the deposition characteristics as Wire Feed Speed (WFS) and Torch Travel Speed (TTS) were determined based on the material, number of layers and thickness of the wall. Afterward, a specific tool path has been generated by considering the geometric attributes such as cross-section area, profile, type of border lines, curves, and their continuities. Finally, the workpiece was built up by using WAAM process with a robotic cold metal transfer (CMT) system using aluminum wire (AWS ER5356) material. The results have shown that the proposed deposition strategy results with steady transition from circular cross-section deposition to hexagonal cross-section with less distortion and waviness in the final geometry of the part.