Additive manufacturing-set to be the important key technology!

Press release (Nr. XX) - Fraunhofer IWS Dresden /

Additive manufacturing, as a cost-saving and highly effective procedure, belongs to the most innovative current revolutions in the field of production engineering. Highly complex products can be manufactured by means of 3D printing technology as well as by laser and electron beam-assisted production processes. The use of material can be directly applied to the specific area, where it is required, avoiding any time-consuming post and machining processing. This results in significant time and cost reductions, particularly in those cases, which require high machining procedures due to complex geometries. Furthermore additive manufacturing procedures enable the development of novel, applicable and specific profiles, such as innovative, hierarchical structural approaches or multi-material concepts.

Complex titanium component (aircraft engine) generated with the laser additive manufacturing technology
© Fraunhofer IWS Dresden
Complex titanium component (aircraft engine) generated with the laser additive manufacturing technology

For a number of years, scientists of the Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff und Strahltechnik (IWS) Dresden have developed procedures and the corresponding systems technologies to directly generate components from metallic materials in visualized process chains. “Light is our tool! We use the laser beam as a highly precise heating source, which can, above all, be quickly regulated, “explains Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Leyens the process. With the help of a layered material deposition a component is generated from powder or wire through a micro welding process. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Leyens lectures and researches at the “Technische Universität Dresden” as a material scientist and heads the field additive manufacturing at the Fraunhofer IWS. Together with his team he recently scored highly in the BMBF funding program ”Zwanzig20-Partnerschaft für Innovationen” with his proposal “Additive-generative Fertigung: Die 3D-Revolution zur Produktherstellung im Digitalzeitalter”, which was among the ten winners of the competition. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research will provide of 45 million euros over the next seven years, to advance research and development in the specific field of material and engineering technology. The industrial partners are expected to match the figure. The consortium, headed by the Fraunhofer IWS, presently consists of 40 partners, of which are 25 small and medium-sized enterprises.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Eckhard Beyer explains the project`s strategic importance saying: “The huge volume demonstrates the significance of novel production technologies for Germany as location for innovation and manufacturing”. A long-term target is to significantly contribute to the leading position in developing novel additive manufacturing technologies and thus strengthen the international competitiveness of German enterprises.

Following the initial development of a roadmap, projects, addressing the diversified challenges in the field of materials and production technologies, manufacturing concepts, process chains, product strategy and systems design, will be started. The BMBF funding program “Zwangig20” primarily addresses partners from science, industry and education in Germany’s New Länder, with the aim of spurring the innovative capability and in turn the economic development in East Germany.