Initial situation

The Light Cocoon compact sport coupé is an amazing ‘car of the future’  displayed at the Geneva Motor Show by EDAG, the German company based in Wiesbaden specializing in automotive engineering solutions. The car was the result of an international research project that  involved BLM GROUP and the Germany companies Concept Laser and Laser Zentrum North in addition to EDAG.

Effect

Light Cocoon is an innovative lightweight design made in a reconfigurable hyprid configuration. It is an attractive design constructed with a tubular skeleton hidden under the bodywork. Its lattice support structure of tubes was created with profiles of high strength steel, folded and cut on  BLM GROUP laser sytems. The use of combination systems has helped to resolve many of the upstream issues related to cutting and bending, automatically correcting all the technologies to guarantee the accuracy of the of the geometric features of the finished part.

The solution

The steel sections that form the skeleton were processed in three separate steps. Firstly, they were cut using laser technology by a Lasertube LT8 and then bent with an ELECT XL multiple radius tube bender. Finally, a LT-FREE five-axis laser cutting system was used to cut the components to size to obtain the required geometric features.

The benefits

Laser technology can be exploited to make tubular frames for the most diverse needs and has great potentials particularly when rapid prototyping is needed or when micro batches must be manufactured with very short lead times. No special tools need to be built.

Technical aspects

Laser technology fosters digital production methods with low number of faults and full automation of the assembly process as a whole. Obvious are also the advantages deriving from combined management of laser and bending technologies: getting the part right from the beginning, no waste, complete programming automation for the entire production process, independence from the operator's skills, no waste of time for testing and fine-tuning the programs.