LIGHT consortium has investigated the use of novel low-density lattice structures in metal AM.
Members of the LIGHT project consortium will share their findings from the two-year project on the design of parts for metal additive manufacturing at a dissemination event at the Bloodhound SSC Technical Centre in Bristol on 26th April.
Supported by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, LIGHT has investigated the use of novel low-density lattice structures to support overhanging geometries and to prevent deformation during additive manufacturing for lightweight metal parts.
Complex parts with overhanging geometries made with additive manufacturing require 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.