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New production technologies of complex 3D Micro-devices through multiprocess integration of ultra precision engineering techniques (Integ-Micro)
Start date: 01 Oct 2008, End date: 30 Sep 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The proposed project aims at creating new high precision manufacturing technologies to respond cost-effectively and eco-friendly to the mass customization paradigm within the production of complex shape micro parts, embedded systems and miniaturized products at micro/meso-scale level (from 10 to 10.000 micron range). The main objective of Integ-micro is the research and development of new hybrid and reconfigurable multitasking machines and combined processes based on integration of different ultra high precision techniques for the generation of 3D complex shape microcomponents made from different kinds of materials. Multitasking micromachining can be best described as the ability to perform multiple machining operations in one workholding configuration. This guarantees greater accuracy, reduced handling and plant area, faster throughput and increased productivity. The availability of several machining technologies on a single machine allows important synergies between the different machining methods. For instance, combining machining by chip removal and laser micro machine will provide the capability to remove (by laser) the burr remaining from the previous chip removal operation. Alternatively, chip removal machining and laser LIGA technique can be combined in order to machine small components that could not be produced otherwise. The project will bring high added value thanks to the minimum time loss in setting new production lines for strategic products through short reconfiguration time and reduced ramp-up phase. The above goals will be reached exploiting methods of sustainable production, including downscaling of machine size (machine size reduced of 5 times at least), new process chain approaches for dramatically reduced processing times and eco-friendly processes like dry ultra-high speed cutting (UHSC) at micro-meso domain (eliminate the use of cutting fluid to get the target of zero waste emission).
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