The LASIMM Project Objectives
The project aim is to develop a Large Additive/Subtractive Integrated Modular Machine (LASIMM) based on a scalable open architecture framework with associated software enabling full parallel manufacturing.
The objectives are based on the major research challenges and are:
- To integrate seamlessly additive,
subtractive, metrology and cold work capability into a single machine featuring
an advanced control system;
- To develop the software capability for generation of tool paths and sequences for a parallel process multi-head system;
- To ensure the components’ structural integrity by allowing in-process non-destructive testing and repair of defects by layer machining;
- To produce functional parts with the final desired accuracy, surface finish, tolerances and material efficiency;
- To produce components with mechanical properties better than forged material thanks to the unique and innovative adoption of in-process cold-work during additive operations;
- To demonstrate the machines capability by production of test pieces defined by industrial requirements;
- To enable creation of mixed-material structure using compatible as well as incompatible materials for increased functionality of the part and locally tailored mechanical properties
LASIMM offers a perfect opportunity to automate and fully integrate the two additive and subtractive aspects. The specific benefits compared to current practice in metal AM are:
- Production of finished parts ready for use;
- Reduced production costs and time by:
- Parallel manufacturing;
- Avoidance of post-build NDT;
- Elimination of scrap;
- Scaling to larger parts avoiding the need for post-build fabrication steps to make larger structures;
- Improved material properties superior to that of forged materials by inclusion for the first time of cold work into an additive manufacture machine;
- Capability to produce mixed material components.
The LASIMM project will also contribute to overcoming the “Valley of death” regarding the industrial implementation of Hybrid (AM+SM) processes. This will be supported be the development of activities related to:
- Standardization: LASIMM partners will work, during the project duration (and after its end), in close collaboration with standardization bodies (e.g. CEN and ISO) with objective of identifying “gaps” in existing standards and addressing them, by reviewing existing standards or by support the development of new standards.
- Training/Qualification of personnel: LASIMM partners will also look at identifying the training needs related to the LASIMM project, this will ensure that, at the end of the project, the necessary “tools” for training the LASIMM workforce will be in place.
Ubiquitous use of computational design and simulation has not fully penetrated medium scale fabrication and large scale construction. There is a gap between the capabilities of modern design tools to generate increasingly complex products and buildings, and fabrication techniques that are not fully automated direct from CAD. Improvements are sought with new assembly techniques and new materials to increase performance and reduce costs.
LASIMM will provide additive and subtractive capability leading to major cost and production savings compared to multiple separate machines. Furthermore, the modular approach enables the addition of other processes, extending the system capability, thus providing the opportunity for further cost and production-time savings. Therefore, the expected impact of this project consists in:
- 20% reduction in time and cost, with respect to the current additive and subtractive processes.
- 15% increase in productivity for high-volume AM production, with respect to the current additive and subtractive processes.
- More flexibility and robustness of the machines to adapt with customisation and changing market needs.
- Reduction of inventory because of the making of products on-demand.
- Reduction of work floor space
- Create localised manufacturing environments and reduce supply chains length
- Contributions to standardisation and certification for new hybrid procedures.