Added Value by Laser Assisted Additive Manufacture AVLAM

The AVLAM project aimed to allow cost effective replacement of current manufacturing methods, such as casting, for high value products and to create completely new markets because of the design capabilities it unlocks. Because of the radical change in design, production and support required to implement ALM methods, commercial and technical risks have to be reduced before these techniques will break out of niche applications.

The project will undertake the essential research involving the development of advanced CAD/CAM techniques to enhance process development, to enable the agile design for purpose, and manufacture, of unique products. It will unlock new design opportunities, involving complex external and internal sealed-section structures and will also confer an ability to vary material composition and properties within an individual component. Laser ALM techniques can also achieve near-total material utilisation, resulting in life-cycle cost and environmental benefits, which will be quantified in AVLAM.

The AVLAM project will move Laser ALM into being more accepted in the high value aerospace market, leading to a step change in the adoption of Laser ALM. It is also expected that the project will create a significant amount of intellectual property and proprietary information which will be utilised by UK companies to gain competitive advantage in the market place, whilst creating more publishable information.

AVLAM is partly funded by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to ensure that UK end-user companies will be world-leaders in exploiting the laser ALM technology, and delivered through their UK based supply chain. The total project expenditure is 1.588m. The labour content of this expenditure corresponds to over 2,500 man-days of effort by the consortium members. TSB funding will also allow effective technology transfer, both within the consortium and to other industrial users.