In September 2019, the 4D Hybrid project, which aims to develop innovative additive manufacturing solutions, received the Innovation Radar Prize 2019 from the European Commission (DG RTD) during the European Research and Innovation Days.
Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and development programme, the 4D Hybrid project involves 20 partners from 10 different countries. Since 2017, MCI Benelux and logos have been managing its communication and dissemination activities.
4D Hybrid’s main objective is to develop a new concept of hybrid additive manufacturing, supporting the Maintenance Repairing Operation (MRO) value chain. For example, 4D Hybrid has developed an autonomous robot that can detect and repair metal surfaces. This is very useful in offshore environments as the robot can repair vertical surfaces – corroded or not – whether in presence of water and dirt; and with an outside temperature ranging from 3°C to 35°C.
To climb vertically on slippery surfaces, the robot is equipped with two robust rubber belts that adhere to the surface thanks to a vacuum-based adherence system. The robot also includes a 3D Scanner and a Cold Spray gun. The former is a scanner that can individuate corrosion from defects on the metal surface. The Cold Spray system, developed by SUPSI as part of the 4D Hybrid project, deposits new metal coating (stainless steel or aluminium). When performing in open environments, the robot minimises the dispersion of powder thanks to a recovery system that sucks up the powder.
Check out the official press release here.