We are excited to announce the start of a collaborative project between LEHVOSS Group, University of Exeter (Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing), Victrex, FDM Digital and GRM Consulting and Q5D.
The project – named Overprinting with high-performance polymers (OverHIPP) – is part of the Innovate UK Smart grants program.
The OverHiPP project will progress through several test stages to finally use a 5-axis additive platform to overprint onto composite sheet materials using proprietary polymers such as PPS, PEI and PAEK (including PEEK). Polymeric modification of these materials with fibers and functional fillers along with lab based analysis and advanced manufacturing knowledge combine with a highly tuneable build simulation to further enhance FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) methods of additive manufacturing. The unique multi-planar capabilities of Q5D hardware will enable these enhancements to be applied to pre-formed composite shapes with complex three-dimensional surfaces.
Incorporating additive manufacturing into established methods of mass production using formed composites will remove huge tooling costs from overmoulded products and provide greater design freedom and reduced development time. Features such as stiffening ribs, mounting plates and bosses as well as embedded wiring, insulating and protective coatings can be included in structural parts for light weight, feature rich components suitable for robotic assembly.
Development will take guidance from an advisory panel of recognised companies from high end manufacturing groups representing Aerospace, Automotive, Medical and Defence. This will ensure the outputs of the project closely match the requirements of future products of the UK and beyond.