Research project: "Supcrafted"
Research area: CFRP, aviation MRO and human-machine systems
Supported by: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (ZIM)
In collaboration with: iSAM AG
Start of the project: June 2014
End of project: December 2016 


Shafting is a process used to prepare carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) structures for repair and requires high precision. Damaged material is removed, allowing for a patch to be glued in and the structural strength to be restored. Manual production of a stock requires significant experience and is subject to quality fluctuations, lack of repeatability, and insufficient documentation.


The 'Supcrafted' project aims to develop a system that assists employees in creating basic stocks on slightly curved surfaces. The system comprises of three axes: two manually guided axes for movement in the plane above the component and a driven axis for advancing the milling tool perpendicular to this plane. The desired infeed can be calculated by measuring the current position in the plane.


Compared to fully automated solutions, this system has several advantages, including low investment costs, low system weight (allowing for easy transportation by a worker without the need for securing against falling), and operator involvement in the process to immediately respond to possible errors. However, it is important to note that this system is only suitable for simple repair cases on slightly curved surfaces. For complex repairs, the CAIRE project's system must be used. This system enables operators without special skills to produce stocks and ensures the repeatability and documentation of the process, unlike the manual process.

Contact person at the institute: M.Sc. Rebecca Rodeck