Additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing—the industrial version of 3-D printing—is already used to make some niche items, such as medical implants, and to produce plastic prototypes for engineers and designers. But the decision to mass-produce a critical metal-alloy part to be used in thousands of jet engines is a significant milestone for the technology.

  • 3D Printing and International Security

    Cover PRIF Report No. 144  HSFK/PRIF

    PRIF Report No. 144 analyzes risks and challenges of the emerging technology of additive manufacturing.

    3D printing – or additive manufacturing – is a challenging dual-use technology: One and the same device can be used for printing toys and guns. Marco Fey assesses the risks of this emerging technology in the new PRIF Report No. 144 “3D Printing and International Security: Risks and Challenges of an Emerging Technology”.

  • Additive manufacturing, from macro to nano

    Magnesium part produced with selective laser micro melting.  Photo: LZH

    Creating large structures with high volume or with the highest-possible resolution: The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) is carrying out research on diverse processes for additive manufacturing, in order to push past the present limits. At the Hannover Messe 2017, at the pavilion of the State of Lower Saxony (hall 2, stand A08), the LZH is presenting the state of the art.

    Light for Innovation – since 1986, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has been committed to advancing laser technology. Supported by the Lower Saxony Ministry for Economics, Labour and Transport, the LZH has been devoted to the selfless promotion of applied research in the field of laser technology.

  • Additive Manufacturing: Budget-friendly Retrofit of Module for Wire-based Laser Deposition Welding

    Processing head "LMD-W-20-L" for wire-based laser deposition welding. Graphic: Fraunhofer IPT

    When economic or safety considerations rule out the use of powder materials in additive manufacturing, the option of wire-feed laser deposition welding resents itself. The Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen has developed a smart laser module for wire deposition welding, which can easily be integrated within existing process chains, handling systems or machine tools. The engineers from Aachen will be unveiling the LMD-W-20-L module for the first time to the visitors from industry at Formnext, the Fair for Additive Technologies in Frankfurt/Main, Hall 3, Booth E70, 13-16 November 2018.

  • Appointment of Prof. Schleifenbaum to the chair “Digital Additive Production“ at RWTH Aachen Uni

    Picture: “In the area of Additive Manufacturing, the applications and the transfer of know-how into the industry are particularly important!” © Schleifenbaum.

    Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dipl. Wirt.-Ing. Johannes Henrich Schleifenbaum has followed the call to the newly established chair – “Digital Additive Production DAP” – of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University. He assumed the position on August 1, 2016. He also took over management of the competence area “Additive Manufacturing and Functional Layers” at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen on November 1, 2016. Pooled expertise in additive manufacturing technologies in Aachen. Along with RWTH Aachen University, FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences and industrial partners, the Fraunhofer Institutes ILT and IPT form a strong network promoting additive manufacturing (AM) technologies at an international level. In addition to the Photonics Cluster, inaugurated in April 2016 at the RWTH Aachen Campus, the newly established DAP chair rounds off the great spectrum of AM offered by Aachen’s R&D landscape.

  • Breakthrough with 3D printed Gas Turbine Blades

    Extreme conditions for the 3D-printed blades: The blades had to endure 13,000 revolutions per minute and temperatures beyond 1,250 degrees Celsius.

    Siemens has achieved a breakthrough in the 3D printing of gas turbine blades. For the first time, a team of experts has full-load tested gas turbine blades that were entirely produced using additive manufacturing. The tests were conducted at the Siemens test center for industrial gas turbines in Lincoln, Great Britain. Over the course of several months, Siemens engineers from Lincoln, Berlin, and the Swedish municipality of Finspong worked with experts from Materials Solutions to optimize the gas turbine blades and their production. Within just 18 months, the international project team succeeded in developing the entire process chain, from the design of individual components, to the development of materials, all the way to new methods of quality control and the simulation of component service life. In addition, Siemens tested a new additively manufactured blade design with a fully revised and improved internal cooling geometry.

  • Combining Additive and Conventional Manufacturing

    Lightweight, organically-shaped products can be designed using topology optimization. Siemens’ NX software allows designers and engineers to create and optimize a new generation of product designs.

    New software from Siemens is is making it possible to combine additive and conventional manufacturing techniques for the first time, thus enabling the production of individualized products for mass markets. Siemens has integrated additive manufacturing into its NX software suite for product development. Unlike conventional manufacturing techniques, 3D printing imposes few limitations on product design, thus opening the door to production of individualized products for mass markets. However, there are still obstacles to integrating conventional and additive manufacturing techniques. 3D printing uses completely different design techniques than conventional manufacturing and generates totally different data formats.

  • Combining the Benefits of 3D Printing and Casting

    In additive freeform molding, the shell of a part is constructed using FDM printing. A dosing unit in the printer then fills this with a two-component mixture. Fraunhofer IPA/Rainer Bez

     

    Researchers at Fraunhofer IPA have developed a new process that combines 3D printing and casting. In additive freeform casting (AFFC), first a shell of the part is manufactured using FLM printing, then this shell is filled with a two-component resin. This saves time, increases stability of the part and allows new materials to be printed.

  • Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft awards Technology Transfer Prize to Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

    The DGP awards the Technology Transfer Prize 2017/2018 jointly to  Nanoscribe GmbH, as well as the Institute for Nanotechnology and Innovation and Relation Management of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). © DPG 2016

    The DPG Technology Transfer Prize 2017/2018 will be awarded jointly to Nanoscribe GmbH, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, and the Institute for Nanotechnology and Innovation and Relation Management at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The three institutions received the award for the outstanding transfer of scientific findings in the field of 3D laser lithography into commercial exploitation - in particular for the fabrication of micro- and nanostructures.

  • Development and Fast Analysis of 3D Printed HF Components

    Fraunhofer FHR’s high frequency scanner SAMMI® analyses the quality of 3D printed high frequency structures. Fraunhofer FHR

    3D printing is becoming increasingly important for the development of modern high frequency systems as it opens up new design possibilities. Fraunhofer FHR is exploring these possibilities for its customers and partners: from designing new HF components to testing these components. Engineers are inspecting the quality of components manufactured using additive processes with their high frequency transmitted light imaging system SAMMI®, e.g. to verify the correct density gradients of the material. As a member of the Forschungsfabrik Mikroelektronik Deutschland, they will present this system at the Hannover Messe in hall 2, booth C22, from April 23 to 27, 2018.

  • Easy Printing of Biosensors Made of Graphene

    Endless film with printed biosensors: Fraunhofer has developed a convenient roll-to-roll process. Fraunhofer IBMT

    Cell-based biosensors can simulate the effect of various substances, such as drugs, on the human body in the laboratory. Depending on the measuring principle, though, producing them can be expensive. As a result, they are often not used. Cost factors for sensors that perform measurements electrically are the expensive electrode material and complex production. Fraunhofer scientists are now producing biosensors with graphene electrodes cheaply and simply in roll-to-roll printing. A system prototype for mass production already exists.

  • formnext 2016: low-cost SLM unit with production costs below 20,000 euros

    Picture 1: Debut at formnext 2016: the new, low-cost SLM unit for 3D printing of stainless steel components is particularly suitable for entry-level users. © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    FH Aachen and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are to present a new, low-cost SLM unit for the first time at formnext in Frankfurt am Main from November 15-18, 2016. Developed jointly with the GoetheLab at FH Aachen, the unit is intended primarily for small and medium-sized enterprises for whom expensive selective laser melting technology is not yet economically viable because of the high level of investment required.

  • Fraunhofer ILT brings Additive Manufacturing to SMEs

    Eye-catcher at this year's LASER World of PHOTONICS was a model of the Ariane 5 rocket which will put the MERLIN satellite into space. A loan from the DLR e.V., Cologne. Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany / Klaus D.Wolf

    From June 26 to 29, the laser community met again at the LASER World of PHOTONICS in Munich. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT was there with more than 50 exhibits from the various fields of applied laser technology and beam-source development: This year the spectrum ranged from diode and fiber lasers to new measurement technology all the way to complete machines for additive processes or even laser systems for space.

  • Fraunhofer IWS Dresden collaborates with a strong research partner in Singapore

    Laser wire build-up of an expansion nozzle. Photo: Fraunhofer IWS Dresden

    The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) have signed a memorandum of understanding for international collaboration in the fields of laser-based additive manufacturing and diamond-like hard coating technology.

    SIMTech is a research institute under Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). The collaboration between Fraunhofer IWS and SIMTech started last year following Prof. Christoph Leyens, director and business unit manager Additive Manufacturing of the Fraunhofer IWS in Dresden, visit to SIMTech under its fellowship scheme. “With the signing of this memorandum of understanding, our collaboration will reach the next level of intensity” says Prof. Leyens, “For us, the collaboration with a world-leading institute in Singapore opens up new horizons in the important fields of additive manufacturing and coatings technology, both from a scientific and an application-oriented perspective.”

  • Harder 3D-printed tools – Researchers from Dresden Introduce new Process for Hardmetal Industry

    Hardmetal sample with complex geometry on FFF standard printer Hage3D 140 L, in which larger components can be perspectively printed as well. © Fraunhofer IKTS

    Extremely hard tools are required in forming technology, metal-cutting and process engineering. They are conventionally made by powder pressing. Although this achieves a high degree of hardness, it is often necessary to carry out a complex and therefore expensive post-processing. Additive manufacturing enables complex geometries, but has been limited in terms of hardness and component size so far. Researchers at the Fraunhofer IKTS in Dresden have now adapted the 3D printing process Fused Filament Fabrication for hardmetals. The development meets all requirements for the first time.

  • IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018: 3D metal printer enables more efficient and lighter components

    The engineers around Professor Dr Roman Teutsch from Kaiserslautern use this technology to develop components for various commercial vehicles. Credits: TUK/Koziel

    Components for commercial vehicles such as excavators, trucks or forklifts should be as light as possible, yet stable and durable. At the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK), engineers at the Institute for Mechanical and Automotive Design (iMAD) rely on a 3D metal printer with which they can produce components in one piece. This technology permits to produce more filigree and lighter parts than with conventional processes. At the International Motor Show for Commercial Vehicles in Hanover (IAA) from 20 to 27 September at the research stand (Hall 13, Stand A28) of the Centre for Commercial Vehicle Technology (ZNT), researchers will answer questions about their technology.

  • ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

    Digitally created and saved in the cloud - how the digital twin accompanies the component throughout its entire life cycle will be a central topic at the ICTM Conference. © Photo Fraunhofer IPT

    “Digital production” is increasingly turning into an integral part of successful turbomachinery manufacturing: How digitalization approaches can enhance efficient manufacturing and lifetime of modern turbomachinery components will be the central aspect of the fourth “ICTM Conference” on February 15 and 16, 2017, in Aachen. Online registration for the conference is open now, with an early bird price until December 16, 2016. The event, which is organized by the Fraunhofer Institutes for Production Technolgy IPT and Laser Technology ILT, provides attendants of the turbomachinery industry with current information and the opportunity to discuss new developments around the major topics “Advanced Machining”, “Digitalization”, “Industrie 4.0” and “Additive Manufacturing”.

  • ICTM Conference 2017: "Turbomachinery manufacture profits from digitalization and networking"

    Over 250 experts from 19 countries attended the fourth International Conference for Turbomachinery Manufacture in Aachen, Germany. Copyright: Fraunhofer IPT

    Over 250 experts from 19 countries attended the fourth International Conference for Turbomachinery Manufacture, the ICTM Conference 2017, held 15 – 16 February in Aachen. There were 20 presentations given by speakers from the companies acknowledged as market leaders in the sector, reporting on the latest developments and emerging technologies for both manufacturing and using turbomachinery and its components in the aviation and power generation industries.

  • ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

    Robot based Additive Manufacturing using Laser Metal Deposition. © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The ICTM Conference has established itself as a networking hub for the international turbomachinery industry. For the fourth time in a row, this biennial event was organized by the International Center for Turbomachinery Manufacturing ICTM in Aachen and in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institutes for Production Technology IPT and Laser Technology ILT. This year’s conference took place February 15-16, 2017. More than 250 experts from 19 countries discussed how to more efficiently develop and manufacture turbines for power plants and aircraft in the digital age.

  • Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

    Selective laser melting makes it possible to manufacture highly complex geometries made of magnesium and magnesium alloys in a flexible and precise way. LZH

    Smallest structures, complex parts or individual implants – due to its flexibility additive manufacturing has a high potential for use in modern production technology. Therefore, this topic is perfectly suited for the ”Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing” that is organized by NiedersachsenMetall and the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) to transfer the latest research and development results to industrial application. On November 09th, 2016, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are invited to come to the LZH to inform themselves about laser-based additive manufacturing.

  • Laser-additive manufacturing paves the way to Industry 4.0

    Additive manufacturing at the micro scale using Selective Laser Melting. LZH

    On November 09th, 2016, already for the third time, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and NiedersachsenMetall invited small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to attend the Innovation Day Laser Technology at LZH. About 100 guests informed themselves about the state-of-the-art as well as the application and market potential of the focus topic “Laser Additive Manufacturing”. „Are we ready for implementing Industry 4.0?“, asked Dr. Volker Schmidt, CEO of NiedersachsenMetall and Chairman of the Industrial Board of the LZH, the audience at the beginning. With regard to the innovation potentials and new markets, he emphasized the high importance of digitalization. “What is the future of work in the age of digitalization?”, opened Ingelore Hering from the Lower Saxony Ministry for Economics, Labour and Transport her welcome speech with a question, too. “Only all stakeholders together can find sustainable answers to this challenge. For example here today.”