Our goal is to allow the largest number of structures to access the printing of metal parts for prototyping and production in small or medium series.
The work done within the framework of the project is Open Source and will give birth to a technology with the lowest possible purchase cost: around 30 000€. Fabricar3v’s developments will allow to make this process accessible to small and medium companies and FabLabs for which the adoption of this technology is today slowed down because it requires extremely high investment costs. The process is based on the “MIM-like” metal additive manufacturing technology, which allows for printing from granules, thus providing great adaptability and versatility with regard to the materials used.
The design and the development of a technology like this one is complex and the skills to implement are thus very diverse. Fabricar3v is composed of a multidisciplinary consortium, bringing together all the skills to pursue the objectives we have set: 10 cross-border partners led by the CNRS. The project combines know-how and expertise in 5 fields: Metal Additive Manufacturing, Mechanics, Metal Injection Molding, Simulation and Industrial Property.
Metal Additive Manufacturing (MAF) is a fast growing sector. Today’s technologies require great expertise and very high investments (~1M€), which hinders the adoption of this process. More affordable processes are therefore in demand. New technologies, based on MIM (Metal Injection Molding) technology, allow the advent of much less expensive machines (120k€).
The objective of the project is to develop a process whose overall investment is less than 30k€, making it accessible to small and medium-sized companies and FabLabs. To go from rapid prototyping to additive manufacturing, it is necessary to be able to predict the defects in the parts and to control the process in order to predict the mechanical performances of the produced parts. FabricAr3v addresses this issue by designing a “low-cost” process and developing and validating dedicated simulation tools.
Partners and operators
The skills to be implemented are varied, so the constitution of a cross-border consortium is absolutely necessary. Thanks to the association with Sirris, it is compared to existing industrial processes. The expertise of the CRITT-MDTS on the MIM allows it to be adapted to 3D printing. Finally, tools for sizing parts that are adapted to the processes will be created through collaboration between the CNRS, Centrale Lille and Cenaero. A training platform for this technology is also being developed. However, the arrival of machines that can copy any metal structure at low cost will probably lead to a questioning of intellectual and industrial property. It is then necessary to investigate the models of protection compatible with this evolution. The project benefits from the expertise of the University of Mons, the University of Lille and the CNRS.