A low cost rapid prototyping system that allows for the production of metal forming tool structures equal to or exceed the forming properties of more expensive fixed tools solutions. Ideal for low volume high value form work. Reduced time to build the tools and the material used by the rapid prototyping system delivers the value to the customer.
Long term support of aerospace component production, both for military and commercial components is a growing issue for equipment manufacturers due to this cost as hard tools can cost over £20,000 for large parts, making the production of small batches prohibitively expensive.
The ‘Wrapid-Form Process’ is a technique which will process products faster with better component geometries, improved surface finish, less waste and lower cost.
This process will include the use of rapid prototyping for the production of tooling for use in low cost stretch forming and rubber pad press forming with a view to lowering the barrier to entry for a future start-up company. Key factors will include the use of low cost rapid prototyping systems and the integration of part edge trimming within the forming process.
The key underpinning IP will be the design of the tool structures to carry the load while minimising the time to build the tools and the material used by the rapid prototyping system
Aerospace component production, both for military and commercial components is an issue for equipment manufacturers due to the cost of hard tools whch can run to £20,000 for large parts. Production of small batches is prohibitively expensive.
MRO is also one of the fastest growing sectors in aerospace.
Head of Technology Transfer
Research and Innovation
University of Ulster
Tel: 028 90366703