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3D-LightTrans Large scale manufacturing technology for high performance lightweight 3D multifunctional components. Differential. Weaving. Hull. 1 €*. ca. 100 €. Auto-clave. Rips. Prepeg. Braiding. 67 €*. 0 h. Time consumption. 3DLT Weaving. 4 €*. * … durable investment costs.

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3d lighttrans large scale manufacturing technology


Large scale manufacturing technology

for high performance lightweight 3D multifunctional components




1 €*

ca. 100 €





67 €*

0 h

Time consumption

3DLT Weaving

4 €*

* … durable investment costs



  • Scale-up for mass production

  • Weaving machines for complex multilayer & 3D-shaped geometries

  • Automation, handling processes & tools

  • Specification of requirements

  • 3D-TRP demonstrators



  • Modeling & simulation toolbox

  • Fixation process

  • Integrated manufacturing chain incl. TRP thermoforming

  • Reliable/ repetitive production of different hybrid glass yarns





In tool


Project data


3D-LightTrans Concept

  • Project title:

  • Large scale manufacturing technology for high-performance lightweight 3D multifunctional composites

  • Acronym: 3D-LightTrans

  • Grant agreement no.: 263223 FP7-NMP-2010-LARGE-4

  • Project duration: From April 2011 to March 2015

  • Consortium:

  • Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH

  • Xedera e.U.

  • Centro Ricerche Fiat SCPA

  • Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH

  • Federal Mogul Systems Protection

  • Universiteit Gent

  • Grado Zero Espace Srl

  • Technische Universität Dresden

  • Acondicionamiento Tarrasense Associacion

  • Lindauer Dornier GmbH

  • Northwest Textiles Network Limited

  • P-D Glasseide GmbH Oschatz

  • Michel Van de Wiele

  • Office National d‘Etudes et de Recherches Aerospatiales

  • Bentley Motors Ltd

  • SVUM A.S.


  • Universite d‘Orleans

The project 3D-LightTrans aims to provide a groundbreaking, highly flexible, efficient and adaptable manufacturing chain for the production of integral large scale 3D textile reinforced plastic composites (TRP). This will enable to shift them from its current position in cost intensive, small series niche markets, to broadly extended mass product applications in transportation and other key sectors, like health and leisure.

In the 3D-LightTrans manufacturing chain, multimaterial semifinished fabrics will be processed to deep draped prefixed multilayered and multifunctional 3D-textile preforms. Storage and transport of the fixed preforms takes place without special temperature requirements.



Hybrid yarn production

Hybrid yarn

3D-LightTrans weaving processes

a) Multilayered fabrics


b) Spacer fabrics with hollow spaces manufactured in a single weaving step

Draping and fixation

TRP (textile reinforced plastic composites) combine light weight with excellent mechanical properties, while holding the potential for huge material cost savings in comparison with metal.

Reinforced composites (often carbon on thermoset matrix) are used for aircraft and a few niche automotive applications, but are too expensive for the mass market in spite of the lower material costs, due to the long processing cycles and labour intensity.

3D-LightTrans will create a manu-facturing chain able to exploit TRP’s inherent economic potential. 3D-LightTrans concept relies on individual processes and approaches, with suitability proven in experimental work performed at the TU-Dresden.

To achieve 3D-LightTrans goals, the partners will develop know-how, processes and equipment to establish automated production chains for low cost, high quality and reproducible industrial manu-facturing of large scale parts featuring complex 3D geometry.

Storage and transport of 3D fixed pre-forms


Consolidated compound parts (car door, battery case)

Fig. 1. Comparison of material price

Fig. 3. 3D-LightTrans manufacturing chain

The final composite part is produced by thermoforming. Neither manual draping of the textile onto the forming tool nor infiltration/curing are required, since preforms are already fixed in the desired 3D geometry and the thermoplastic matrix integrated in the hybrid yarn before weaving.

Project results

A project co-funded by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme

Fig. 4. Project timeline and scheduled results


Fig. 2. Spacer fabric and deep draped multilayer fabric with simple geometry (TU-D)

For more information please contact:

Dr. Erich Kny (AIT) erich.kny@ait.ac.at Project Coordinator

Dr. Ana Almansa (Xedera) aam@xedera.eu Exploitation & Dissemination Manager

Fig.5. Cost improvement to be achieved with 3D-LightTrans