Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Process planning tools customise products

Process planning tools customise products
Process planning tools customise products
Cost-effective production techniques with fast set-up times and high flexibility are required to produce specialised parts for industries such as aerospace and biomedicine. Additive layer manufacturing, also called rapid manufacturing, is perfectly suited to the task. It builds up parts of complex geometries by adding successive layers of materials via instructions from a computer-aided design file.

Process planning tools developed within the context of the EU-funded project 'Knowledge based process planning and design for additive layer manufacturing' (KARMA) will enable fast and easy optimisation, encouraging greater uptake and European supremacy in the field. Previously, selection of the appropriate additive layer manufacturing technology and setup of process parameters required extensive experience and in-house expertise.

Partners from complementary areas worked closely on the demanding task of developing a knowledge-based engineering system to guide process setup and control. A database of material properties and part properties covers four major additive layer manufacturing technologies and eight common materials.

An 'Expert Process Planning' tool utilises the knowledge-based engineering system to help manufacturers choose the appropriate technology, material and build scenario for their specific part. The tool quickly and automatically estimates functional properties of the part, defining optimal process parameters and executing a virtual production test. The KARMA tool enhances design efficiency and final product quality through rapid design and production of high-quality customised parts for high-tech sectors. This in turn, also facilitates certification in sectors with rigid regulations such as the aerospace and biomedical fields.

KARMA has created a user-friendly knowledge-based engineering tool for European manufacturers that will have a major impact on the EU economy. Exploitation plans are currently being drafted among partners. European industries will soon be able to cost-effectively rely on EU labour to get new products to market.

Related information


Mass manufacturing, , process planning tool, additive layer manufacturing, knowledge-based engineering, database
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