An applied research programme for metal Additive Manufacturing, initiated by the Fives Michelin Additive Solutions joint-venture, has been announced under the acronym SOFIA, SOlutions pour la Fabrication Industrielle Additive métallique (Solutions for Industrial Metal Additive Manufacturing). With a budget of more than €50 million, the programme is funded by the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region as well as French investment bank, Bpifrance.
SOFIA’s aim is to contribute to the development of metal Additive Manufacturing technology by working with the entire value chain (powders, production equipment and processes). It was stated that the six-year applied research programme will develop technological ‘bricks’ which can be used to manufacture robust parts at competitive prices, particularly to meet the requirements of the aviation industry.
Work will focus on four key areas:
- Perfecting metal powder ranges
- Improving the productivity of Additive Manufacturing machines by optimising the material / process pairs and developing new energy sources
- Designing new ranges for parts with optimised technical and economic characteristics, with a view towards digital continuity
- More broadly, increasing the knowledge of the HSE (health, safety and environment) risks linked to metal Additive Manufacturing in order to create a repository.
Industrial partners in the project include Fives Michelin Additive Solutions under its AddUp brand, Aubert & Duval, ESI Group, FusiA, Michelin, Safran, Volum-e, Zodiac Aerospace. Partners from academic institutions include France’s CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and the research universities of Centrale Supelec, Centrale Nantes, Ecole Polytechnique, ENS Paris-Saclay (ENS Cachan), University Paris Diderot, University of Paris-Sud, Pierre and Marie Curie University – Paris VI.
For further information contact: Claire Mathieu-André, Fives. Email: [email protected]