EcoMarble aims to the intelligent production of solid marble artworks by using marble powder as primary material. The project introduces the intelligent computer based 3D-copy and design of art and cultural objects, and furthermore the manufacturing in industrial scale of true marble objects by processing marble wastes in powder form (inexpensive raw material). Results of the project will be applicable in the area of manufacturing of cultural objects, artworks or museum reproductions, conservation of cultural environment, etc. However it is expected that developed tools will launch spin-off applications in industrial sectors such as the automotive and electronic components industry, and bring new opportunities to the market and future initiatives as well.
The subject of research is to develop all necessary tools to create a complete process chain consisting of:
- 3-dimensional copy of historical objects;
- optimised CAD environments to create artwork reproductions and modern design products based on historical ideas;
- rapid prototyping directly in solid marble to cover one-step prototyping in the end material or limited series production;
- rapid prototyping in very large sizes (world's largest stereolithography parts);
- marble powder injection moulding to achieve high rates in production of solid marble objects;
- electronic commerce application;
- testing of complement.
During the ecomarble project, the following major research results have been obtained:
-Feasibility study on marble powder formulation, with the main objective to develop a binder system that allows the processing of marble powder in a freeform manner and in Powder Injection Moulding for higher rates.
-Formulation of the suitable marble powder feedstock and test production.
-Various testings of 3D copy methodologies, using digital photogrammetry, laser scanning and CT scanning.
-CAD process optimisation from 3D raw data of copied geometry to the final computer model.
-Production of marble products with the Powder Injection Moulding process.
-Rapid Prototyping in the end material with two different techniques (MJS and 3D printing). 3D printing produced excellent results.
-Development of the post processing methods for strengthening the marble parts.
-Rapid Prototyping in very large sizes with the first mammoth stereolithography machine.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
CB2 1RB Cambridge