Simpleware has joined 3T RPD Ltd in the GOSSAM (Generation of Optimal Support Structure in Additive Manufacturing) project. Funded by Innovate UK, the project aims to develop innovative and advanced intelligent metal additive manufacturing (AM) support structures.

Launched in October 2013 and running to December 2015, GOSSAM targets breakthroughs in the often-overlooked area of support structures used in the manufacturing of components. Support structures are typically required to build unsupported geometric features on metal DMLS parts. The use of supports however removes the complete design freedom offered by additive manufacturing; additionally supports may need to be created which cannot be removed post production. Supports may comprise up to 50% of the build mass, and can considerably increase the set-up, build and post-processing times.

New software solutions are being developed through GOSSAM to automatically orientate parts and then generate intelligent scaffolds for them. The long-term goal of the software developed for GOSSAM is to reduce set-up time, build time, material wastage and post-processing time, and to move the AM process closer to "print from CAD".

Simpleware has been chosen as a partner for GOSSAM due to its software's capability for generating lattice structures, and its experience on the Innovate UK-funded SAVING and LIGHT projects, both of which involved the development of lightweight parts for industry. 3T RPD Ltd welcomes the introduction of the new software as the automatic generation of the support structures enables them to turn quotes around much faster for their customers. It also reduces the build and post-processing time of parts, whilst increasing the design freedom allowing designers to create parts that were previously difficult or impossible to build.