Painting in the sky (PITS) is a 15 month project that started in April 2016 run jointly with Loughborough University looking at technologies to replace or supplement beam structures used in space frame structures. The new technology aims to provide:
The same weight
The same mechanical performance
Lower cost raw materials
Less conversion processes i.e. turning raw materials directly into beams without using fabrics or braids
The embodiment of the technology will use an extrusion process to rapidly deposit material into complex 3D shapes. The material will use a low density foamed matrix with reinforcing carbon fibres. Loughborough University is working on sonication techniques that will allow for further optimisation of the beam cross-sections, without additional die complexity.