The project should solve identified shortcomings of Rapid Manufacturing (RM) by addressing five areas, all of which are related to design and production of lightweight metal parts. These deficiencies are:
- Lack of design rules for RM, which could guide the designer.
- Lack of guidelines and simulation software to support to the user in the work preparation prior to RM processing and predict quality features and mechanical properties of the part.
- CAD application software to augment – partly automate – the design of internal structures of a part.
- Research in the effective use of RM integrated in a process chain jointly with conventional processes.
- Lack of ways to define and effectively control surface qualities.
CompoLight is addressing these problems by means of experiments, applied research and software development. The work is centred on 3 archetypes of lightweight metal products, all of which are parts with internal structures, respectively:
- Channels (as in hydraulic valves).
- Hollow zones (to decrease weight of the component).
- Porosities (as in filters).
The consortium comprises 12 beneficiaries from six EU member states: 4 RTD, 6 end user SMEs, 1 SME provider, and 1 large industrial companies. Projected impact from the project originates from a larger industrial utilization of lightweight components in many industries, including automotive, aerospace, medical and electronics. For each of the participating SMEs, the opportunity to strengthen their market position is the crucial argument for taking part in the project. Societal impact is exemplified in terms of potential reduction of CO2 emission from cars and equivalent savings in fuel consumption. Dissemination of project results involves all beneficiaries in activities ranging from demonstration events in each of the participating companies via RM cluster building, seminars and exhibitions to special training courses and the integration of RM curriculum in university studies.