Wire-arc direct energy deposition (wire-arc DED) has been developed to manufacture large-scale metal products with high deposition rates, low material cost, and high material efficiency. However, dynamically varying printing conditions and complex geometries frequently lead to unfavorable part distortions during and after printing which are magnified as part sizes increase. In this study, an effective computational simulation method was developed for large-scale 316 L stainless steel parts using finite element method. The model was validated with the measured distortion using a 3D laser scanner. The distribution of deviation is within 16 % (=1.6 mm) against a measured value for a 483.6 mm tall part with 248 layers, with excellent agreement with the spatial pattern of distortion. The dynamic part deformation during printing and cooling was tracked using vision camera to investigate the thermo-mechanical deformation mechanism. The result showed that long pauses during machine maintenance pauses have strong influence on part distortion.