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Flexible and automated finishing and post-processing cell for high value AM components – FlexiFinish

Start date: 01 June 2016
Duration: 24 Months
Lead Organisation: TTL
Funding: Innovate UK

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is moving into series production, opening up unparalleled opportunities for suppliers, service providers and end-users. Unfortunately, despite the many advantages of AM, poor surface finish is a major barrier to adoption, particularly in demanding end-use applications, such as the civil aerospace industry.

Currently, there is no effective solution to this problem, either through changes to the AM process or using conventional post-processing approaches which are costly, time-consuming and difficult to control.

FlexiFinish is part of MTC post-processing capabilities and will provide an automated, flexible, precise and comprehensive finishing solution for complex external and internal surfaces. Advanced CAM and process modelling tools will be employed to plan and control the finishing operation, selecting the more effective combination of finishing method for each surface from a comprehensive array of options to provide a targeted and precisely controlled solution which is carefully monitored using in-process optical inspection.

The FlexiFinish project is supported by funding from Innovate UK.