Tailorable & Adaptive Connected Digital Additive Manufacturing (TACDAM)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Automatic Control and Systems Eng


The TACDAM project will remove the the final hurdles for the adoption of additive manufacturing in automotive applications in a staged low-mid-high volume approach. The essential requisite for this, besides having the right portfolio of products, is meeting automotive expectation of low cost and high quality, the delivery of which is the primary objective of the project. Although the biggest single contributor to product cost across the value chain has been Additive Manufacturing (AM) build time it is expected that by the end of 2017 substantial further increases will have been made. A result of this is that costs associated to pre- and post-processing are becoming relatively much more significant. Key enabling technologies, that will be developed by The University of Sheffield, include the creation of model-based approaches, that are used to optimise the part life-cycle in the manufacturing environment. This includes the identification of key factors in the value-chain, and data-driven methodologies that will 'learn' from data towards the better fundamental understanding of the process.

Planned Impact

Via the project's industrial partners we have a great opportunity to achieve significant impact across several manufacturing sectors. HiETA is developing products that engage with mobility, energy, aerospace and defence and sporting goods markets. Just one example is Electric Vehicle (EV) where sales are limited by high costs and short electric range. Replacing 15% of the batteries with the lighter range extender (RE) double the range and accelerate sales. HiETA targets the EU low cost EV market of 800,000 units in 2020 (JD Power Associates). Fitting an RE on one vehicle builder's EV will create 50,000 sales by 2020, or 6% market share. The potential market for the SLM components on IC-engined vehicles is every such vehicle built for countries with CO2 emissions legislation. HiETA targets 10% of the EU SUV/off-road, sport, luxury, upper medium and medium market sectors over 10 years (these account for 26% of EU car production, or about 3.4 mn vehicles in 2010). The first two products are the RE recuperator, with a target is 10,000 units pa in 2018 at unit cost of £400 and margin of 10%, growing to 50,000 units pa by 2020 at unit cost of £300 and margin of 7%; and the EER engine heat exchanger with targets of 250 units pa by the end of 2018 at £4,000/unit with a 10% margin, growing to 50,000 unit pa and unit costs of ~£500/unit at a 7% margin. These provide revenues of £98 mn with margins of £7.7 mn.

McLaren are executing their Track 22 business plan which includes an investment of £1 billion into R&D over the coming six years, leading to the launch of 15 all-new cars or derivatives. McLaren will continue to focus purely on two-seater sports and supercars, encompassing new powertrains, with a fully electric system already in the prototype stages for evaluation in a possible future-generation Ultimate Series car. By 2022 McLaren expects to be producing 4,500 cars pa with a value of approximately £900 mn.

Metalysis is a leading specialist metals producer which has developed the innovative FFC process. The widespread adoption of this unique process will transform the global specialist metals industry allowing substantially greater applications of high value metals. Metalysis has identified titanium, produced in annul volumes of 170 ktonnes in a market worth $10 bn, as a metal whose economics could be altered radically by the Company's technology, with the potential for huge incremental demand.


10 25 50
Description Key findings so far include the creation of a systematic computational framework, to optimise the manufacturing process under investigation (Selective Layer Melting).
- new SLM process monitoring using acoustic emissions
- new SLM printability analysis tool, using machine learning
- new through process modelling and optimisation algorithm
Exploitation Route Potential research publications (3), as well as contributing to design decisions for the end users in the project.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

Description Findings from this research have contributed to design decisions for end-user products (HiETA) for the manufacture of automotive parts.
Sector Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Description Aerospace Technology Institute - Airlift with GKN (Todd I, Panoutsos G)
Amount £8,720,700 (GBP)
Organisation Aerospace Technology Institute 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2018 
End 02/2022
Description Aerospace Technology Institute - DAM with GKN (Todd I, Panoutsos G, Willmott J)
Amount £7,141,800 (GBP)
Organisation Aerospace Technology Institute 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 03/2021
Description Horizon 2020 - INNOVATION ACTION - FAST TRACK INNOVATION PILOT SCHEME (FTI) - Integradde (Todd I, Panoutsos G, Kadirkamanathan V)
Amount £40,451,037 (GBP)
Funding ID 820776 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2019 
End 12/2022
Title SLM process optimisation tool 
Description Process optimisation toolbox, based on MATLAB script, capable of optimising process conditions. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact HiETA to use software to inform decision-making in optimising end-user products.