Surfi-Sculpt has been further developed at TWI to enable 'honeycomb' type structures to be produced. In this variant of Surfi-Sculpt, rather than making many discrete protrusions, a continuous upstanding network is formed. It has potential to be used as an alternative process in applications that might be currently addressed using direct metal deposition and other near net fabrication techniques - but the Surfi-Sculpt process is much faster - each cell measuring a few millimetres across takes less than 1 second to make. The cells are accurately and reproducibly formed, and are integral with the surface. Potential uses for the structures include seals in gas turbine engines and the production of light but stiff panels.
A very wide variety of shapes can be made. The shapes can vary from the base of the cell towards the top of the cell and this can be used to provide additional functionality - for example a re-entrant cell shape could be filled with a material that is then trapped on the surface.
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