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Hybrid finishing electro-chemical machining ECM & laser

Sep 2013 – Nov 2015


IMPULSE aimed to develop automated, non-contact finishing processes for additively manufactured parts. Typical finishing processes were evaluated and their strengths and weaknesses, specifically in regards to additively manufactured components, identified.

Key activities

Experimental investigation into continuous wave laser polishing, and electrochemical machining were carried out on common materials used in AM for high value manufacturing industries such as aerospace and medical. These materials included Inconel, cobalt chrome, titanium, and aluminium alloys.


These trials were used to identify optimal parameters for these process and material combinations where minimal surface roughness could be achieved. Dimensional and geometric changes were assessed, and practical limitations of applying these processes were also highlighted.

MTC role in project

The MTC was specifically involved part design and build, experimental design, and part measurement.

Other details

  • Project partners: MTC, ECMD, 3TRPD
  • Funding body: IUK
  • Project budget: £142k
  • Grant to MTC: £66k