In a letter dated 9 November 2005 the Department of Trade and Industry placed a contract with AILU to undertake a web-based outreach initiative aimed at engineering designers.
The ‘Outreach' project is to be a sub-web of the new AILU website in the form of an easily navigated collection of text, image and video resources addressing visitors of all levels of awareness: engineering designers are the primary target audience; secondary targets are mechanical and electrical engineering researchers, artistic designers (jewellery, architecture etc), buyers in manufacturing companies and their managers, educators and advisors.
A specification for the Outreach area was completed and Ideas Taking Shape (Rugby), who have been responsible for the ongoing development of the new AILU web site, will develop the new area as soon as the existing site is fully functional. A number of standard presentations on laser materials processing have already been developed, video clips of laser processing have been secured and introductory documents developed and assembled for populating the new Design for Laser Manufacture sub-web. When the new area is up and running we will be looking to expand the Market Development Group with AILU members and associates willing to provide further material.
Meanwhile, a Design for Laser Manufacture logo has been developed and the new initiative announced and posters displayed at MACH and SUBCON earlier this year.
The hope and expectation of the present MDG steering group is that the Outreach area will be of real benefit to laser job shops, as a service to providing ideas to design engineers on how they can make use of laser technology to add functionality and ease of assembly into the design of parts for manufacture. The Outreach area will provide for a limited amount of advertising to raise funds to sustain the development of the site beyond the end of the DTI contract.