Digital Manufacturing.

Digital Prototype: New Materials and Processes


Dr. Clemens Ackermann

ARENA2036 e.V.

Clemens Ackermann is research coordinator at ARENA2036 and expert on topics related to the research campus.

Digital Prototype

Holistic Digital Prototype for Large-scale Production

The project objective of DigitPro was to develop the digital prototype of a fiber composite plastic component with all design, construction and production steps and thus create the basis for reliable data exchange along the process.

Digital Model on an FRP Structure

Existing digital prototypes for metallic materials cannot be used for the application of hybrid structures, since weight-optimized materials (such as fiber-reinforced composites) usually exhibit anisotropic properties and thus the component performance is strongly dependent on the loading direction. In FRP, the properties are strongly dependent on the direction and processing of the fibers.

In this joint project, a complete digital model was therefore built up using an FRP structure as an example across all design, construction and production steps, and necessary data was transferred from one process step to the next.

In the future, this simulation tool will make it possible to design components in line with requirements, which will save some of the real tests, and to prepare for the start of production.

In the DigitPro project, the aim was to completely digitize the target manufacturing processes.

At the same time, the weight of selected lightweight structures was reduced by another 10% and a reduction in development time of more than 50% was achieved.

An open, neutral HDF5-based data format was used to develop a data container that allows all simulation derivatives to be stored with time and user signatures and made available to other software tools.

The process simulations focused on the braiding process, the ORW process, the draping process and the multi-scale infiltration simulation.
In addition, a novel CAM interface was integrated in the digital prototype, which allows to plan robot paths and machine parameter sets based on part CAD geometries and to give the user feedback on feasibility during part design.

The associated publication "Der digitale Prototyp – Ganzheitlicher digitaler Prototyp im Leichtbau für die Großserienproduktion" (© 2019, German language only) has been published by VS Springer Verlag in Wiesbaden as part of the ARENA2036 publication series.

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