The Ecoplus Plastics and Mechatronics Cluster, based in Lower Austria, has reported the completion of the COllective Research NETwork (CORNET) project ‘AM 4 Industry’, and published its findings on successful applications of Additive Manufacturing in the industry.
The economical use of AM requires users to have a wide range of skills in the areas of processes, materials, finishing and quality assurance. It also demands a careful cost-benefit analysis, which takes the required quality into account. A successful industrial application therefore depends on the definition of quality characteristics, the development of methods for design and construction, reliable monitoring of production processes, suitable guidelines for reworking and an appropriate cost-benefit model.
To explore these success factors, the Ecoplus Plastics and Mechatronics Cluster in Lower Austria launched the CORNET project ‘AM 4 Industry’ in November 2016. For two years, eight research partners and fifty-one companies from Austria, Germany and Belgium worked on industrial application concepts for Additive Manufacturing. The CORNET had a budget of €2.1 million.
The network consisted of the Research Institute for Rationalization (FIR) of the RWTH Aachen University, the Research Subsidiary of FH Wiener Neustadt – FOTEC, the Fraunhofer Institute for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology – IGCV, the Institute for Polymer Injection Moulding and Process Automation of the Johannes Kepler University Linz, the Chair of Polymer Processing of the University of Leoben, the RHP-Technology GmbH, and the Belgian collective centre for and by the technological industry – Sirris.
After intensive cooperation, the network has reported the successful completion of its project. The results, which aim to support companies in implementing AM, have been divided into five publications relevant for both practice and research.
Benjamin Losert, Ecoplus Project Manager, commented, “Thanks to the expertise and the committed and open-minded cooperation of the partners involved, we were able to develop several methodologies and guidelines that will prove to be extremely relevant for the industry.”
The five publications include a catalogue of errors for laser beam melting, a practical design methodology for Additive Manufacturing, a fundamental study of processes, a tool for quality optimisation and cost analyses, and an application-oriented example for getting started with OpenFoam® and chtMultiRegion.
The summarised project results can be downloaded from the network’s website.