Fabricating and Forming Journal's April issue includes "Forming the Future," a feature story about AMO's Innovative Manufacturing Initiative (IMI) Project – Rapid Freeform Sheet Metal Forming. This project, begun in 2013, involves Ford, Boeing, Northwestern University, Penn State, and MIT.
Dr. David Forrest, AMO Technology Manager, describes the project as both technically challenging and ambitious because freeform parts have never been produced on a 1.5 x 1.5 meter scale with the level of detail and precision required for automobile doors that have fine features and sharp angles. Dr. Forrest says the project team is pushing the limits of computational capabilities and machining technology to make a system that can work in production. It is an extraordinarily difficult task to match the final shape of a part against the target shape when you're bending a large sheet bit by bit at a tiny point that's moving around in space and time.