LIGHT consortium to show how to design parts for metal additive manufacturing

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Members of the LIGHT project consortium will share their findings from the two-year project on the design of parts for metal additive manufacturing (AM) at a dissemination event at the Bloodhound SSC Technical Centre in Bristol on 26th April.

This event is free to attend but places are limited so registration is essential.  Go to www.bit.ly/LIGHT_event to reserve your place.

With a mission to inspire new design freedoms and find new solutions for the additive manufacturing (AM) of lightweight metal parts, the LIGHT project, which is supported by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, aims to implement and validate CADCAM solutions for lightweight components being 3D printed from metals.  In particular, LIGHT has investigated the use of novel low-density lattice structures to support overhanging geometries and so prevent deformation during printing.

The design freedom offered by AM coupled with the promise of tool-less manufacturing, is compelling.  However, additively manufacturing complex parts with overhanging geometries requires the use of sacrificial support structures to hold the part during the build.  While necessary, these structures add constraints to the geometries that can be achieved using AM techniques.

Through the LIGHT project, the consortium has sought to implement and validate CADCAM solutions that facilitate the selective replacement of internal geometries with self-supporting, low-density lattice structures.  If these lattice structures can efficiently support internal and external overhanging geometries, new design freedoms can be achieved.

During the dissemination event on 26th April, the project partners will present case studies about the demonstrator parts created during the project.  LIGHT tested the capabilities of additive manufacturing technologies to their limits by producing demonstrator parts that were engineered to withstand extreme conditions:
• A crushable earth re-entry capsule designed to protect planetary samples during atmospheric entry, descent and landing - designed by Magna Parva
• A jet engine thrust nozzle with operating conditions of 500°C - designed by HiETA
• An air brake door hinge that must withstand 50kN of force - designed by Bloodhound

Hosted by consortium member Bloodhound SSC at the Bloodhound Technical
Centre in Bristol, attendees will be able to take advantage of a tour of the 1,000mph Bloodhound SSC car with chief engineer Mark Chapman.  Delegates will also have the opportunity to network over lunch.

The LIGHT project has involved a consortium of seven organisations that, in addition to Bloodhound SSC, includes Delcam, HiETA, CRDM/3DSystems, EOS, Simpleware and Magna Parva. All of the partners will be on hand at the event to share their experience of using software and hardware to produce lattices using metal AM techniques.

For further information on the LIGHT project, please contact Annalisa Soldani at annalisa.soldani@autodesk.com

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