DHARMA - Design for Hybrid Manufacture

Project: Research council

Project Details


Manufacturing in the UK is undergoing significant transitions and transformations in terms of new emerging technologies and methods. The traditional view of using a range of disparate processes in a precisely defined logical sequence of steps is now being challenged by the continued emergence and growth of metal additive layer technologies, most commonly termed additive manufacturing. With projected growth in this sector increasing (current annual compound growth rate is 34.9%), it's continued involvement in manufacturing is set to increase considerably. However, the major bottleneck is the significant additional finishing processes required after initial generation of the component. The streamlined and integrated combination of AM and subtractive process is now being termed hybrid manufacture. Current design for manufacture methods are well-established techniques that allow designs to be adapted to enable efficient production using traditional linear manufacturing approaches. However these current state of the art methods are not directly applicable to new emerging manufacturing techniques, without significant modification and adaption. This will impede the generation and uptake of novel and emerging manufacturing processes, further stagnating design. Project DHarMa (Design for Hybrid Manufacture) aims to deliver a disruptive, design rationale and process that is specifically targeted at enhanced utilisation of combined additive and subtractive technologies in the form of hybrid manufacture (HM). This will be achieved by undertaking systematic, quantitative and qualitative research that will focus on generating a design for hybrid manufacturing process, based on identified design features and geometry classifications in seamless conjunction with hybrid manufacturing key performance indices and a manufacturing capability framework. DHarMa will incorporate specific additive and subtractive manufacturing information constructs in conjunction with design feature and geometry relationships and attributes. Essentially this will integrate and categorise part specific design and manufacturing information and will be used to generate the DHarMa process. Designers will have a powerful tool that will enable them to tailor and adapt their designs to be manufactured using a combination of additive and subtractive technologies. Unlike conventional manufacturing that has significant limitations in terms of features and geometries that can be correctly generated, AM un-constrains manufacturing with the direct capability to create highly complex features and geometries that would be typically inaccessible using conventional methods (for example, dematerialised internal thin walled features). This affords the designer more design freedom and flexibility, thus empowering them to create new innovative products without the need to be constrained by a rigid set of conventional manufacturing protocols. This feasibility project will provide the initial study in to the generation of a design process that will enable parts to be specifically designed for manufacture using a HM approach. This will initially be based on prismatic designs that will be applied to HM.
Effective start/end date10/11/1528/02/18


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


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