Rapid Shaping am Beispiel OHM-Racer

Development of a rapid shaping procedure for manufacturing CFRP components on the basis of rapid prototyping base bodies

Faster and more cost-effective with 3D tools

In the future, cars will use less and less fuel or ultimately drive without using petrol at all. While “electromobility” is a key route to achieving this goal, “lightweighting” is also playing an important role in the automotive sector. After all, lighter vehicles use less fuel. In order to implement extreme lightweighting, components need to be manufactured from carbon fibre reinforced polymers (CFRP) or glass fibre reinforced polymers (GFRP). Nuremberg Institute of Technology's 3D Visualization Center is currently researching a new process for the production of CFRP components for prototypes and small batch production. The project is being funded with EUR 29,700 from the Paul und Helene Metz-Stiftung.

Prof. Rüdiger Hornfeck and his team at the 3D Visualization Center are focusing on rapid prototyping in the new research project, and are hoping to develop a “rapid shaping process for the production of CFRP components”. “The new process is to be faster and more cost-effective than the methods being used to date,” explains Prof. Hornfeck regarding the aims of the project. “We would also like to implement customer-specific special requirements and designs for CFRP components.”
A wealth of experience

The 3D Visualization Center will contribute a wealth of experience even at the outset. Since the 2008 summer semester, students in the Mechanical Engineering bachelor’s degree programme have been working together with design students on a project to develop the electric OHM Racer bike. This also encompasses lightweighting, design aspects, and electromobility.
The Mechanical Engineering master’s degree programme at Nuremberg Tech also includes a lecture on “practical lightweighting”, which also teaches students the manufacturing technologies for fibre-reinforced composites.

Both resources are perfect for inclusion in the new research project. At the start of the project, test pieces were produced using the rapid prototyping machine in the 3D Visualization Center, before being laminated with carbon fibres in order to carry out the basic tests. Following successful completion of these tests, the rapid shaping process is being used on selected components of the OHM Racer bike. Depending on the component geometry and requirements, manual laminating, the injection process, or the autoclave process is used, and the components are produced in the lightweighting laboratory. Finally, the quality is tested.
3D Visualization Center

The 3D Visualization Center is a competence center of Nuremberg Institute of Technology and is being financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It makes state-of-the-art tools available for improving efficiency of product development processes, and it is equipped
with a state-of-the-art rapid prototyping machine using the FDM process. The virtual room is also already under construction, which will enable computer models to be depicted stereoscopically, and two 3D scanners are in the pipeline. The purpose of the competence center is to contribute the described tools and developed methods to teaching, to transfer this technology to companies, and to complete other research projects in this field.
Paul und Helene Metz Stiftung

The Paul und Helene Metz Stiftung has been supporting Nuremberg Tech, the research leader amongst Bavaria’s universities of applied sciences, for many years now.