Research database

4D hybrid - Novel ALL-IN-ONE machines, robots and systems for affordable, worldwide and lifetime Distributed 3D hybrid manufacturing and repair operations

36 months (2017 - 2019)
Principal investigator(s):
Project type:
UE-funded research - H2020 - Cross-cutting activities - IND
Funding body:
Project identification number:


From aeronautics to oil&gas, complex metal parts embrace major challenges across their lifecycles from the green field intensive manufacturing to the numerous maintenance and repairing operations worldwide distributed. The synergic combination of additive and subtractive processes could overcome individual shortcomings, going beyond the simple succession of steps. 'Plug and produce' modular approach is a key factor to success for such hybridization. In this scenario, 4D will deliver 4 disruptive breakthroughs: A set of four elementary modules specifically designed for AM that embed the control and monitoring systems which can be integrated on new or existing concepts of machines and robots to realize different processes ranging from the DED (powder and wire) to ablation and cold spray; A new concept of CNC, constituting a high level sw layer which can be integrated on the top of commercial CNCs, and it is conceived as open to embed portions of the 4D modules control; A validated process model to fully exploit the synergistic interactions among elementary processes; A dedicated 4D Engineering CAD/CAE/CAM Platform, which covers the lifecycle of the reference product family where multiple processes and hybrid resources are integrated for the (re)manufacturing stage. Innovation will be physically demonstrated at three possible levels of hybridization: Modules - Small hybrid modules, integrated on new special machines, focusing on portable units for certified in-situ repair operations; Hybrid Machines Hybridization on existing robots and machines; Production lines - Hybridization of a flexible production line focusing on new concepts for AM mass production. Potential impact: >30% lifecycle cost reduction, unprecedented possibility to customise process applications by combining several processes on several different machines, concrete business perspective supported by detailed business plan with deep market and cost analysis: payback 3y ROI>20%

People involved





Total cost: € 9,429,875.00
Total contribution: € 4,990,000.00
PoliTo total cost: € 715,000.00
PoliTo contribution: € 715,000.00