Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

FP7

Hyproline Informe resumido

Project ID: 314685
Financiado con arreglo a: FP7-NMP
País: Netherlands

Final Report Summary - HYPROLINE (High performance Production line for Small Series Metal Parts)

Executive Summary:

The technical objective of Hyproline was to design, implement and validate a flexible high performance manufacturing line for serial fabrication and post processing of customized high quality metal parts, combining innovatively component technologies for net shape manufacture, direct write / structuring, inspection and intelligent automation in one platform. By further developing the manufacturing processes itself as well as by research and application work on materials, pre and post treatment of the metal parts produced and supporting software, Hyproline adds capabilities to commercially available manufacturing systems, in terms of speed, product quality and versatility.
To this end, a complete DEMO system named Hyproline was developed where the products to be manufactured were first 3D printed by the Digital Metal technology and consecutively inserted in a carousel machine for further processing and finishing. Three different materials were tested in the Hyproline project: 316L (stainless steel), Titanium and Copper. Since 3DP parts as produced will be near net shaped, further post processing is necessary. In order to do so, the 3D printed parts are inserted by a robot into the carrousel system, where they are fixated and carried on for further processing. Along the carousel there as several stations under which the metal parts are continuously carried around. After insertion into the carousel, the metal parts are 3D scanned with a point cloud scanner which provides data in order to compare the as-is part with its 3D-CAD file. The locations on the part where further post processing is required are identified after which the part is transported to the next station which is a laser module where local polishing and/or ablation is taking place. These steps are repeated (making several rounds in the carousel) until the part meets the dimensional requirements, after which it is removed from the carrousel again by the robot.
By keeping focus on the entire process from conceptual outline of the product via product design, engineering and production planning to actual manufacturing and control of quality, Hyproline contributes to the development of a versatile and hybrid manufacturing process, suited for industrial production by SMEs of complex custom made metal (meso scale = order 10 mm) parts up to large volumes at high speed and still possibilities for one-of-a-kind production mode.
The uniqueness of the Hyproline system is that all steps are conducted in an on-the-fly modus, where the carousel is moving at constant speed (order 1 m/s) to provide high productivity. In Hyproline each partner improved and delivered their individual module in the carousel which was finally integrated and assembled into the DEMO machine: the Hyproline.
The Hyproline manufacturing concept was demonstrated by its pilot implementation for serial production of customized high quality parts and is available for further demonstrations. Details can be found at www.Hyproline.eu.

Project Context and Objectives:
Many articles describe the abundance of possibilities of the additive manufacturing technology (known by the wider public as 3D printing). Virtually everything which can be designed in 3D CAD can be printed. Even if this is true for some applications, there is still a lot of work to do in improving the surface quality of Additive Manufactured made metal parts. Post processing to improve the surface quality is needed and for this conventional technologies such as (laser)milling and machining are used.
A new generation of flexible production lines with abilities to “adapt” to the specific requirements of a given component by combining innovatively the complementary capabilities of additive manufacturing, laser-based structuring with integrated process monitoring and metrology systems, and by adopting a modular approach in their design and implementation. In order to make a relevant contribution here, Hyproline was geared at finding a solution using Additive Manufacturing, with the technical objective to design, implement and validate a flexible high performance manufacturing line for serial fabrication and post processing of these customized high quality metal parts.
Hyproline delivered a number of breakthrough innovations on combining innovatively component technologies for net shape manufacture, direct write / structuring with inspection and intelligent automation in one platform. By further developing the manufacturing processes itself as well as by research and application work on materials, pre and post treatment of the metal parts produced and supporting software, Hyproline adds capabilities to commercially available manufacturing systems, in terms of speed, product quality and versatility.
The basic requirement for the Hyproline is that it needs to be flexible as well as productive to deliver an economical viable process: all Additive Manufactured parts can be individualized designs which all have a different geometry and requirements for surface quality, where besides the global “smoothness” of the part, local structuring (a texture or a logo) might be necessary to be applied.
To this end, a complete DEMO system named Hyproline was developed where the products to be manufactured were first 3D printed by the Digital Metal technology and consecutively inserted in a carousel machine for further processing and finishing. Three different materials were tested in the Hyproline project: 316L (stainless steel), titanium and copper. Since 3DP parts as produced will be near net shaped, further post processing is necessary. In order to do so, the 3D printed parts are inserted by a robot into the carrousel system, where they are fixated and carried on for further processing. Around the carousel there are several stations under which the metal parts are continuously carried around. After insertion into the carousel, the metal parts are 3D scanned with a point cloud scanner which provides data in order to compare the as-is part with its 3D-CAD file. The locations on the 3D printed metal part where further post processing is needed are identified after which the part is transported to the next station which is a laser module where local polishing and/or ablation is taking place. When high quality parts are concerned, it is important to have a measuring of the quality along the processing steps itself. To this end, after each round in the carousel, the quality of the surface could be measured to check if it already meets the requirements set. If not, the part will make another round in the carousel and be laser ablated/polished. If the quality is good enough, the part will be taken out and qualified as “ready”, post processing finished (according to own standards to be set).
These steps are repeated (making several rounds in the carousel) until the part meets the dimensional requirements set, after which it is removed from the carrousel again by the robot.
To enable the above sequence of steps leading to the right end quality situation, several R&D steps were conducted.
The first one was to draft a list of requirements for the metal parts to be produced/processed, comprising the material, strength, dimension, accuracy and cost. Particularly the cost comprised two parts: the cost for making the metal part by Additive Manufacturing (Digital Metal technology) and the maximum allowable cost for post processing. It was decided that the materials of choice for Hyproline were 316L (stainless steel), titanium and copper.
The optimization of the Digital Metal additive manufacturing technology was one objective of the project. R&D items addressed were how to “3D” printed parts in an economic way and how to deal with material efficiency and quality parameters. A huge step in the sense of reliability (‘first time right’) has been realised and it can be concluded that after Hyproline, the Digital Metal technology can be considered mature and reliable to make detailed metal parts.
The other objectives were to build a demonstrator where all processing modules are integrated in one carrousel system where the parts move around on exchangeable carriers at high speed in a continuous motion to be processed on–the-fly.
The demonstrator comprises the following functionalities:
· a carrousel with a transportation system.
· 100 product carriers which individually can be set in height.
· a robot system including slider paths to pick and place the product carriers.
· a 3D printer to print the supporting placeholder/negative of the metal part to be processed.
· a 3D scanner to capture the geometry of the metal part to be processes (i.e. a point cloud).
· software to convert the point cloud into a CAD model.
· calculation of rest volumes, i.e. the difference between the scanned model and the design model.
· a laser scanning system for removal of rest volumes by laser processing (ablation/polishing).

By keeping focus on the entire process from conceptual outline of the product via product design, engineering and production planning to actual manufacturing and control of quality, Hyproline contributes to the development of a versatile and hybrid manufacturing process, suited for industrial production by SMEs of complex custom made metal (meso scale = order 10 mm) parts up to large volumes at high speed and still possibilities for one-of-a-kind production mode.
The uniqueness of the Hyproline system is that all steps are conducted in an on-the-fly modus, where the carousel is moving at constant speed (order 1 m/s) to provide high productivity. In Hyproline each partner improved and delivered their individual module in the carousel which was finally integrated and assembled into the DEMO machine: the Hyproline.
The Hyproline manufacturing concept was demonstrated by its pilot implementation for serial production of customized high quality parts and is available for further demonstrations.
Details can be found at www.Hyproline.eu.

Project Results:
Main S&T results from Hyproline are in various areas of technology development. Since the aim of Hyproline was to design, implement and validate a flexible high performance manufacturing line for serial fabrication of customized high quality metal parts, the work undertaken was built from a consistent set of workpackages and phases. Hyproline was very application driven to guarantee that the partners are constantly working on activities which are really helping European industry forward. The following S&T workpackages and content were executed:

WP1 (Requirements and specifications). General requirements were identified for the machine specifications and machine serviceability and the interfaces as well as drafting of the specific requirements for the functionality of the building blocks, such as required laser power, accuracy, robustness and cleanability.
Task 1.1 Requirements report for the building blocks and system
The goal of the Hyproline project was to have a physical demonstrator that could be built after three years within the available budget. This comprised integration of equipment in the line which is owned by the partners; general requirements were identified for the machine specifications and machine serviceability and the interfaces and more specific requirements for the functionality of the building blocks (modules). A schematic of the setup and interfaces was drafted and each module was specified and detailed as good as possible using template tables. The following modules were described: module identifying / tracking, module pick and place (loading / unloading), module transport, module fixturing/ work holding/ clamping, module measurement / inspection, module laser machining and module laser polishing /cleaning. Also the CAD Model information and software for the Hyproline machine were described.
With respect to the specification of products for the Hyproline we had a very fruitful cooperation and input from the industrial external user groups bringing in specific cases and also attending meetings. This covered 316L stainless steel material products, a Ti dental case product and a copper UHF connecting element. In addition to this, Digital Metal also provided a detailed cube which was designed as a heat sink for electronics cooling as well as for enabling measurement of details and geometries.
In this task the idea was conceived and agreed on to split up the DEMO system in 3 stages rather than 1 final system in one go.
Task 1.2 Reviewed and mutually agreed specification document (EPS)
This task provided a Hyproline technical specification with description of the demonstrator and an Element Performance Specification. Requirements for the machine concept and design at system and module level and test vehicles are described in an Element Performance Specification EPS report. The report describes specific data on requirements for: automated operation with minimal human interaction, which resolution of parts is needed, a smooth surface definition (no requirements from skilled art), how much waste to be contained and disposed of, dust debris or large waste streams, vibration, operated by unskilled operator that is literate, routine care and use without training, operation over standard range of room temperature, spill resistant system design with containment tray, etcetera…
The project was split up into three consecutive phases to realise the Hyproline concept:
Phase 1: using the state of the art, batch processes at different locations (sending parts around).
Phase 2: moving towards continuous production: high accuracy, single stage.
Phase 3: high speed continuous production (the final Hyproline).
Task1.3 High performance manufacturing machines roadmap.
In order to develop new systems only where they are not commercially available, as well as to get to know the current trends and developments in manufacturing, a roadmap was drafted. Also a listing of existing technologies was provided (i.e. detailing the elements of the roadmap). The following category of elements were described: automated production cells as high performance manufacturing machines, commercial available manufacturing processes and an overview of automation cells.
Task 1.4 Requirements report with regard to geometric processing
Since Hyproline will deal with data point scanning and preparation for local post processing, the requirements set for this activity was drafted. This included an overview of activities within Hyproline for which analysis and manipulation of geometrical data is necessary. Geometrical processing tasks takes place at the start of the Hyproline process to improve the quality of the data and detect potential problems, and also takes place during the fabrication process to help orchestrate the system’s components and validate the results. A number of geometrical processing activities were identified that are necessary to achieve the final goal of data processing.
WP2 Toolbox development
The Hyproline high performance manufacturing machine is defined as a flexible, modular functional machine capable to build on a high speed mesomic metal products. The design for the prototype machine was used as a trade-off to reengineering it to a pilot series machine which can be introduced to the market and can be used for commercialization. The system comprises several processing steps, each of which are employable in a modular way into the manufacturing line. Four basic elements are key in all configurations of the line, which are:
- the base modular machine concept
- the 3DP printing of metal parts
- the laser micro processing system
- geometric processing tools and on-line quality control
Each of the four elements have their particular objectives and are described in following WP2 task.
Task 2.1 Reviewed concept design of a prototype machine including CAD design, 2D-drawings of mechanics & electrical connections.
To optimize the design of the demonstrator, the project was divided into a) process research and b) the integration into the demonstrator machine. The latter b) comprised Phase 2: High accurate demonstrator and Phase 3: the High volume demonstrator
To increase the learning curve and to investigate and provide a high accurate post processing system the project defined a proto machine on basis of a high precision stage named Phase 2 (CCM). The proto machine used the stage to move and position a pallet with supported product under an optical scanner and subsequently under a laser machining/polishing station and to repeat this cycle for multiple passes. A lot of optimization and interfacing problems were challenged and resolved in this Phase 2 machine.
Task 2.2 Detailed design of the prototype machine.
An update of the concept design of Task 2.1, a detailed design of the Phase 2 machine and the Phase 3 machine were provided in the updated deliverable D2.1 “Concept design of Prototype Machine”. This comprised technical CAD data, Element Performance Specifications and process control. Description of the host PC: hardware to run the control software, host application: software to integrate all activities, process modules, platform motion, pick and place: robot for (un)loading platforms on the fly, PPM Product Profile measurement: to generate the product data, PMA product manufacturing: laser unit to remove the material/polish the surface, printhead 3D printer to print the supporting placeholder of the part to be processed, Software GPPC: Geometric Processing tools: to create a CAD model and compare with original.
Task 2.3 3D Printing of large batches of small metal parts
Digital Metal’s 3D printing technique was improved and reach the quality requirements enabling adequate processing of produced components within the Hyproline demo machine. Digital Metal’s additive manufacturing technique is based on layer-by-layer built up of metallic components. Each layer is applied by spreading out a metallic powder with a hopper to a thickness of 42 micron followed by an ink printing operation to define the component shape. In order to work properly and provide components with reasonable dimension accuracy and material properties there are a number of process aspects to be controlled. Powder properties have to be suitable and stable, the ink used should wet/spread properly and provide an accurate binding strength enabling safe handling and shaped components should debind/sinter to sufficiently high density with dimension control. Stainless steel 316L, Ti and Copper test cubes were produced in large numbers as well as a specific set of tailor made designed end-user parts from the relevant industrial external interest group, and were further processed in the Hyproline.
Task 2.4 Processing windows for laser milling
To achieve a better control of the laser ablation process the interactions of the selected laser
sources with 316L and Ti and Cu workpieces was investigated. The mechanism is to create holes or single craters followed by a sequence of overlapping craters with ns and ps pulsed lasers to identify processing windows for high throughput and acceptable surface integrity for the targeted applications/demonstrators. 316L was intensively investigated, the other two materials were investigated only in the last quarter of the project, which limited the implementation in the Phase 3 DEMO machine itself.
Task 2.5 Development of solutions for setting up the laser machining processes
The deliverable D2.3 of Hyproline project includes development of solutions for setting up the laser machining processes and its implementation in laser polishing of stainless steel 316L, titanium and copper materials. Based on a state-of-the-art review of the latest generation of laser sources and feasibility studies of the laser polishing and structuring, nanosecond MOPA pulsed fibre laser was chosen for the pilot implementation in the project. The laser micromachining module is one of the building blocks of the Hyproline production line and is a reconfigurable solution incorporating a novel beam delivery system and a multi-axis setup and thus to implement different processing configurations for realising the relative beam-workpiece movements in performing polishing and structuring of parts of various products. D2.3 describes both the requirements and then the implementation of the reconfigurable laser module in the context of Hyproline Phase 1 while building into the system sufficient flexibility for the Phase 2 and Phase 3 production concepts.
Task 2.6 Development of CAD/CAM tools for “adaptive” laser machining
A software interface between the inspection/measurement sub-systems and NC part program was developed to automate the setting up of the working coordinate systems of individual parts on a pallet. On the functions performed by the geometric processing tools themselves there are sections covering the comparison between measurement data and nominal CAD, and covering the extraction of information from those comparisons that can be used to drive the manufacturing process within the line. This software was integrated within a prototype laser-milling tool and then tested on machining parts with different complexity.
Task 2.7 Development of geometric processing tools
The measurement module produces data covering the visible surfaces of the product. For each sample point in the cloud, the system determines the distance from the vertex in the cloud to the surface of the product. After performing a z-axis measurement, rest volumes can be extracted. The target for a rest volume is to build a closed shell of triangles representing the volume of material to remove. There are a number of factors that contribute to the specific shape of rest volumes produced by the system: density of triangles, measurement noise and very relevant: processing time. Since the production line expectes to handle moving components the geometric processing tools was prepared to limit the surface area presented for processing in each iteration to avoid leaving the manufacturing module with too much work to perform. The solution to this was to allow a limit on the X-Y processing area of the calculated rest volumes. Software tools have been created to facilitate the inspection of products within the line and to extract, based on that inspection, the necessary information to drive the laser micro milling station. The inspection was performed with respect to some target CAD geometry and the iterative processing is terminated when no further material was available to process.
Task 2.8 Inspection
A new high resolution optical 3D scanner was used for component dimension identification and inspection before and after machining/polishing. Instead of measuring single points, full part geometry is captured in a dense point cloud or polygon mesh describing the object’s surface and primitives precisely. This enabled high resolution for highly detailed, small parts. The geometry scanning of the 3DP test cubes in an on-the-fly manner by a high tech and high accuracy point cloud measurement system has been realised. On-the-fly point cloud scanning with a proper resolution of points to enable further processing was demonstrated to be possible with a line speed up to 20 mm/s.
WP 31Hyproline - DEMO part 1
Task 3.1: Integration (integration of tools from WP2). The technology developments in WP2 include the compatibility of materials and processes, and take into account the interfacing methods (e.g. data exchange) and in-line process control. In this task 3.1 particularly the software integration and system process control integration were successfully realized in the Phase 2 and Phase 3 machine.
Task 3.2: Integration of geometric processing tools
Software tools were created to facilitate the inspection of products within the line and to extract, based on that inspection, the necessary information to drive a laser micro milling station. The inspection is performed with respect to some target CAD geometry and the iterative processing was terminated when no further material was available to process. The tools were integrated into the line’s controlling software both loosely as a separate program and directly as a library. The structure of the tools grants some flexibility in updating the tools to meet unexpected requirements in the future. Subtasks comprised:
T3.2.1 Multi-CAD Import: CADfix already provided the import of the CAD and geometry formats used in Hyproline.
T3.2.2 Automation : CADfix already allowed the user to process models automatically, the processes were extended to support the automated processing required by the integation.
T3.2.3 Export to specific format: once processed, the model was written to a file in a format that is appropriate for the chosen process.
T3.2.4 Provision for CADfix: a development version of the CADfix software was provided for integration into the Hyproline process, include all installation materials, documentation, batch scripting information and configuration files, as well as training & support.
T3.2.5 GUI Development: no special requirements were needed.
T3.2.6 Support Process Demonstration was conducted as planned and required.
WP32 Hyproline - DEMO part 2
Task 32.3 Realisation and Assembly
In this task, the Hyproline demonstrator was built upon the experience and hard work of the previous Phase 2. Activities comprised ordering of mechanical and electronic parts, assembly of parts to subassemblies and testing, complete assembly of parts and subassemblies into a functional machine, testing of software modules, and writing of a brief user guide.
As an intermediate step the Phase 2 machine at CCM was assembled, which was a high accuracy, low speed system of the Hyproline. Thanks to that, a lot of lessons learned could be implemented in the final Hyproline demonstrator Phase 3 to get it to the level of operation as it is today: in-line on the fly laser post processing of 3DP metal parts to improve surface quality. Pictures of the Hyproline are provided in the attachments of this report.
Task 32.4: Verification and debugging of prototype machine
Once the assembly of parts and subassemblies into a functional Phase 3DEMO machine was realized, verification and debugging of the machine was conducted. Some deficiencies and errors were repaired in order to have a system that works fine. Some characteristics as provided in the Test Analysis Report (TAR) are given below:
-Motion speed @ 2 m/s (too fast for scanner and printer and unpractical for the laser),
-Robot pick & place, including loading and unloading sliders @1.6 m/s,
-Motion accuracy: X 10 µm, Y (transport direction) 10 µm, Z 50 µm Accuracy for Phase 3 is better than expected: due to the high speed and use of 3D printed parts in the Phase 3 demonstrator.
-3D Printing of support structure for fixtures @ 0.7 m/s, 600 dpi mono colour, 1200 dpi mixed colour. Printing speed is a compromise between resolution (quality) and nozzles. For the supports a speed of 0.7 m/s was chosen. Speed can be increased by mixing the two colours or adding additional printheads.
-Scanning resolution Micro Epsilon: X 22µm, Y 22 µm, Z 8µm, The resolution in the y direction is determined by the belt speed. To get a good 3D scan to compare with the CAD model a resolution of 22 um is required resulting in a belt speed (for scanning) of 40 mm/s.
-Scanning speed Micro Epsilon 2-4cm/s See above.
-Geometric processing accuracy: sufficient for extraction of rest volume, achieved geometric processing accuracy is primarily driven by measurement accuracy.
-Laser machining accuracy < X 8 µm, < Y 3 µm Due to the limited machining experiments, the accuracy has not been investigate extensively. Two written patterns were compared for this estimation.
-Laser machining speed: 100 mm/s. The limitation lies in the selected laser source frequency. The delivery optics allow a faster movement.
-Metal part surface treatment accuracy: roughness values 1-5 µm. Depending on the mode of the laser, the surface conditions will vary.
Also the laser processing conditions have not been tested well enough for all three materials (316L, Ti and Copper) in Phase 3. Tests with protective gas Ar reveal the best results.
Task 32.5: Manufacture of the three demo parts
Manufacture of the three demo parts according to the WP1 requirements with the Hyproline Demoline was planned. The laser processing (ablation, polishing) was tested on offline location and has revealed processing parameters for 316L stainless steel. This has been implemented in the Hyproline, expanding it with an own set of experiments and settings, using a shielding gas system with Argon. The materials Ti and copper have not been tested in the Hyproline demonstrator due to late availability of laser processing data for these materials.
Surface quality: as opposed to the original plan, no integral surface quality in the range of 5 um has been achieved. This is due to the limited time spent for laser processing testing at the Hyproline. It has been demonstrated that the roughness of 3DP parts can be reduced from 5 down to 1 um with the Hyproline technology (micro roughness reduction). However, the overall appearance of the parts is still lower than expected because of the lack/limitation of the laser impact on smoothening the planarity of the surface (which still remains wave like on a larger scale). Mitigation of the wave like structure requires complete remelting of the surface.
The project did not deliver the 1000 - 20000 parts as planned for one material (stainless steel), nor delivered Phase 3 results on Ti and Copper. Here we did not perform as planned (due to late arrival of Ti and Cu laser data) and for that reason the coordinator has ranked the success of the project as medium. Nevertheless it was possible to assess performance of the complete system as well as part quality and stability.
WP4 Testing of the Hyproline
Task 4.1: Hyproline demo machine testing. General testing of the Hyproline demo machine components, building blocks and complete system for reliability, quality and reproducibility was conducted. The complete prototype demo machine was tested according to the specifications from WP1testing of individual modules. The Phase 3 demonstrator was built upon the experience and hard work of the previous phases, Phase 1 (individual, separated processing steps) and Phase 2 (high accuracy, low speed). Thanks to that, a lot of lessons learned could be implemented in the Phase 3 demonstrator to get it to the level of operation as it is today: in-line on the fly laser post processing of 3DP metal parts to improve surface quality.
In line with the knowledge developed, achievements and experience along the process chain we can conclude that:
- The 3D printing of 316L stainless steel, Ti and copper has successfully been conducted and revealed large batches of test cubes which needed to be post processed in Phase 3.
- The mechanical system where the test cubes are presented to the processing modules in a correct way (height, fixtures, digitally labelled) has been realised. High speed in and out of the cubes on a pallet has been demonstrated in the Phase 3 machine.
-The scanning of the 3DP test cubes in an on-the-fly manner by a high tech and high accuracy point cloud measurement system has been realised. On-the-fly point cloud scanning with a proper resolution of points to enable further processing has been demonstrated to be possible with a line speed up to 20 mm/s.
-Data processing using dedicated software (CADfix based) has been demonstrated to work and provides rest volumes on the basis of the point cloud scanning and CAD file at a high enough rate which meets the requirements matching the laser processing speed.
-The laser processing (ablation, polishing) was tested on offline location and has revealed processing parameters for 316L stainless steel. This has been implemented in Phase 3, expanding it with an own set of experiments and settings, using a shielding gas system with Argon.
-The materials Ti and copper have not been tested in the Phase 3 demonstrator due to late availability of laser processing data for these materials.
-Surface quality: as opposed to the original plan, no integral surface quality in the range of 5 um has been achieved. This is due to the limited time spent to laser processing testing at Phase 3. It has been demonstrated that the roughness of 3DP parts can be reduced from 5 down to 1 um with the Hyproline technology (micro roughness reduction). However, the overall appearance of the parts is still not good because of the lack/limitation of the laser having a smoothening on the planarity of the surface (which still remains wave like on a larger scale), which might require complete remelting of the surface.
-The addition of a high speed robot in the carroussel has demonstrated that continuous production/manufacturing/processing in a high speed AM carrousel system is feasible.
Task 4.2: Tested demo components
Specific geometric processing and manipulation is required to test all features of the Hyproline. Details of the parts and their manufacturing data are provided in D4.1. Besides the demo parts, also confidential parts from industrial users were produced and processed. These are not open for disclosure. More details can be found in deliverable D4.2.
As far as the time to market is concerned a final target number of 3 days can be realized with Hyproine. Particularly the value add of 3D printed products as compared to their milled siblings can be declared to be much higher (due to the integration of functions and local polishing requirements) where the proposed increase in value add in the DOW from 8 to 50 is considered realistic. The accuracy parameter (surface quality) in terms of Sa showed an improvement of order 5 um to 1-2 um. Also Hyproline does not require any use of supplies or services and is 100% material effective.
It needs to be stated that also the milling technology has made advancements in this area, however the geometries a produced by Hyproline can contain lattice structures, rectangular holes and local polished or textured surfaces which cannot be achieved by milling and subsequent technologies such as chemical polishing to reach the same level of accuracy and detail. Hyproline provides a unique manufacturing possibility which is also recognized by the industrial users.

Potential Impact:
The Hyproline project was initiated by an industry based SME consortium which secured the continuous representation of industry requirements. The project developed and integrated latest research and advanced developments into a Demonstrator machine. This helped enabling European industry to take advantage of the potential impact by testing realistic demonstrators.
Hyproline has generated results which can be considered as a step ahead on challenges and barriers as indicated in the Additive Manufacturing roadmap 2014 from the AM-Platform.
In particular, a big step forward was made into Hybrid Manufacturing: 3D metal printing (additive), laser scanning and point cloud generation on a moving part as well as on-the-fly (subtractive) laser post processing (polishing and ablation) and associated data handling for a high speed moving manufacturing carousel was investigated.
After testing the Hyproline DEMO system, the consortium is confident that Hyproline indeed removed major technical barriers, which today are limiting the use of AM because of limited accuracy and product cost associated with the post processing steps. The demonstrator parts (test cubes but also classified end-user demo parts) have been taken through the whole cycle of Hyproline and show good results. Dimensionally stable and accurate micro metal parts with a high quality surface structure is in demand in all industries.
Further research is needed to fully capture the benefits of Hybrid Manufacturing, which will eventually grow into a mature manufacturing technology for specific sectors such as highly detailed mesoscale metal parts.

Impact of Hyproline
The results of Hyproline supports the SME partners products and their services to more business and new manufacturing concepts, with emphasis on innovation, shorter time to market, agility and materials saving. The hybrid platform demonstrated parallel processing of 100 individual building platforms at high speed, where each platform carries an individual, customized metal product. Benefits in terms of quality, availability and adaptability of products impacted by post processing by Hyproline are listed below:
- Significant time savings were achieved: the time-to-market for a complex shaped metal part (which geometry is unable to be milled) is reduced to less than 48 hours (including 3DP and postprocessing). Shorter time-to-market is key for a competitive European manufacturing industry.
- Miniature and light weight detailed metal components can be provided at lower cost (please make sure to 3DP only those geometries which cannot be milled (e.g. sharp corners, internal lattice structures, ..). Weight savings and miniaturization are important elements for achieving agility and materials saving.
- Hyproline has the embedded inspection operation on board which monitors the processes executed on the parts with feedback. This implies 100% quality control and hence a reduction of rejects.
- Hyproline produces innovative and detailed (e.g. locally polished & internally polished as opposed to uniformly chemical etched) metal products that are impossible to copy with existing manufacturing techniques (milling) thus reducing and combating counterfeiting.
- Since the manufacturing process is based on digital models and processes, it is fully integrated in one automatic production line. Hyproline has one control system which enables optimization and hence improvement of throughput, capability and repeatability of the machine. Improvements are estimated to be >30% as compared to individual, non integrated production lines.
- Material use by 3DP is close to 99% BTF (buy to fly) and 3DP makes no use of supplies; as a comparison: typical BTF values for milling are 60-70% and also supplies are needed.
The development and implementation of green technologies and manufacturing methods helps realizing European targets for sustainable growth for a more competitive low carbon economy.
- Loading and unloading of building platform carrying the parts in the line is conducted by a high speed robot. Robot technology is key for the new generation of engineers which will be trained to implement new technologies in industry.

For Hyproline we are talking small parts, however they come in high numbers. This implies that the effect of material and weight saving of parts is considerable if the whole lifecycle of the Hyproline parts is taken into consideration. In this context, it is important to remember that raw materials used in an Additive Manufacturing process which feeds the Hyproline, are fully recyclable. If a component of Titanium weighs 4g, the net material consumption for producing it with Hyproline is around the same weight (<1% waste), saving a lot of recycling steps of materials and associated C02 emission.

Exploitation of results
As far as exploitation and impact by the partners is concerned, different activities and business opportunities have been initiated from Hyproline:
- a positive spin off on the application of the product handling module as realized by the Phase 2 machine by CCM is currently taking place by integration in complex environments, bringing new business opportunities to this SME.
- Digital Metal has increased knowledge in different areas of metal 3DP in the project (methods, production, data preparation) resulting in an increased number of orders. Particularly a special order in the jewelry industry is being elaborated on.
- Various assignments for evaluation of metal powders and ceramic granules for AM have been generated by Swerea IVF, who now perform these tests (with input from Hyproline) on a regular basis.
- Transcendata developed the software for data processing and has implemented that in their CADfix product. Today, end user sales of data processing software with an AM module is released and is really starting off.
- TNO has made an inventory of possibilities to bring the Printvalley/Hyproline hybrid machine to the market. Many industrial sectors (not only Additive Manufacturing based) have shown interest in the carousel approach for digital hybrid manufacturing. Currently an OEM startup (provisional name IAM) is in preparation which will also create new jobs.

Socio-economic impact
Industry workplaces have disappeared over the last 15 years because of changes in our societal structure, and due to outsourcing of production to cheap labour countries. Hyproline helps to increase European competitiveness by establishing a new manufacturing concept. The concept offered by Hyproline is distributed production where products are manufactured in small productions units that are close to the customer and spread out over the country. The raw materials for production are transported where transportations of the finished products are minimal. The Hyproline project is one step in this direction, where manufacturing of very complex, custom designed and manufactured parts in short time is offered. Examples are parts with local texturing (which cannot be made by conventional manufacturing).

Dissemination
The process of disseminating the outcomes of Hyproline was targeting a number of different groups: 1. Industry groups looking to improve on current manufacturing methods; 2. Research groups interested in the outcomes of the project; 3. members of the consortium and 4. General public.
Website and social media: The website developed by TNO (www.hyproline.eu) hosts a general overview of the project, consortium and results. The content is updated to include results from demonstrator projects and acts as a first point of contact for many groups. The website includes a private section where members of the consortium can exchange private information.

Project related material has also been made available on social media via the Transcendata twitter feed (https://twitter.com/CADfix) and under the hashtag #Hyproline (https://twitter.com/hashtag/Hyproline). Promotional pictures of the line and related information have been posted in order to make the project easier to discover.
A number of publications have been created as part of the project. The goal of these publications is to provide more detailed insight into research-oriented aspects of the Hyproline process. In addition to publications, members of the consortium have presented at trade shows and conferences discussing aspects of the project. This improves access to both industry and research groups who are both expected to be present at such events. A summary of publications and trade shows/conferences is provided in the relevant chapter of this report. Industry groups were interested in how the results of the project apply to some specific use case and it was valuable for the consortium to examine that case in detail. Demonstrator geometries were supplied by industrial partners and suppliers of hardware integrated during the project under NDA.
Discussions with colleagues both within the consortium and amongst fellow members of industry interest groups (ie AM Platform, 4m2020 etc) give the consortium members the opportunity to make others aware of the activities within the project.

Conclusion
The overall conclusion of Hyproline is that AM combined with a hybrid manufacturing line (carousel alike) where post processing of 3DP parts is automatically conducted, has been demonstrated to be a promising development for manufacturing of metal parts where a lot of post processing and tailored surface texturing is required. The Hyproline technology will always be more profitable for customized parts in any volume as compared to conventional technology. The capability to manufacture complex 3D geometries allows integration of more functions in components/devices and this combined with the capacity to add with high precision micro features opens the door for a large market in a range of industrial sectors, which can now not be covered in an economical way. Hyproline is the solution for large scale, high throughput production of customized parts.

List of Websites:
Details of the project can be found at www.Hyproline.eu.
Coordinator contact details for further information:
Frits Feenstra
TNO Technical Sciences
PO Box 6235
5600 HE Eindhoven
The Netherlands
frits.feenstra@tno.nl
tel +31 88 866 53 72

Información relacionada

Contacto

Frits Feenstra, (Senior Project Manager)
Tel.: +31 88 866 53 72
Correo electrónico
Número de registro: 184213 / Última actualización el: 2016-06-02
Fuente de información: SESAM