Improving Additive Manufactured Metal Parts Using Laser Surface Finishing and Electrochemical Machining (IMPULSE)

Lead Participant: Ecm Developments Limited

Abstract

Additive Manufacturing (AM) can produce complex metal parts in low volumes. Unfortunately, AM inherently produces a stepped surface finish and metal parts produced by powder bed fusion processes can also have a granular texture. Parts are generally shot blasted to mask the effect of the stepped surface. Machining is only used in localised areas, due to the cost and difficulty in accessing complex part geometry. Automated abrasive finishing methods have shown significant promise but these offer poor control of part accuracy and in some cases can also be expensive/slow to apply. In the IMPULSE project a rapid automated finishing process, giving precise control of material removal, will be developed. This novel approach is based on robotically controlled non-contact methods using laser “polishing” and electrochemical machining. Using two complementary methods will provide maximum flexibility in terms of materials, part geometry and final surface finish

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Ecm Developments Limited, LINCOLN £62,165 £ 37,299
 

Participant

3t Rpd Limited., Newbury £64,322 £ 38,593
The Manufacturing Technology Centre Limited, COVENTRY £66,070 £ 66,070

Publications

10 25 50