AM PROCESSES

The AM Processes department focuses on the development and optimization of materials, manufacturing processes, and post-processing steps for additively manufactured components. The primary objective is to minimize production costs by, for example, increasing process speeds or appropriate beam shaping and to enhance the quality of the components.

© Fraunhofer IAPT
© Fraunhofer IAPT
© Fraunhofer IAPT

Development and optimizing of the process

One focus area in additive manufacturing lies in the further development of powder-bed-based processes. These include selective laser melting of metals and selective laser sintering of polymers.

A strategic goal of the department is to optimize the process with regard to costs and productivity by developing new process and build strategies. Among other factors, the position of the component in the powder bed and the shape and geometry of the laser beam play a decisive role in this respect.

The intention is to be in a position to offer efficient alternatives during production of individualized prototypes, spare parts, and low-volume production runs. This applies to metal components and components made of polymers.

A central research task of the department will be the develop-ment of suitable system components and their integration into the build process.

A further focus area of the department is extrusion-based additive manufacturing processes such as filament printing of polymers and binder-based printing of metals for prototypes and, also, for series production in future.

The handling of loose, fine metal powder is currently still hazardous, both in terms of occupational and health safety. Fraunhofer IAPT develops special handling and monitoring components for safe additive manufacturing.

 

Finishing

The use of additively manufactured components requires the implementation of an appropriate finishing process. This post- processing needs to be optimized in the same manner as the actual manufacturing process.The entire process chain ultimately governs the costs relating to the component. Further development of surface treatments and post-processing at Fraunhofer IAPT is investigated closely in a dedicated working group and adapted for customers.

 

(FKZ: 16KN021234)

Projekt LHASA

In the LHASA project, we have generated components made of innovative, heat-resistant aluminium alloys using a combination of conventional and additive manufacturing. The precise alignment of the components in the hybrid manufacturing process was ensured by a special sensor concept.

 

(SPP2122 / 409807874)

Disentangled UHMWPE

Together with the University of Hamburg, we are investigating the processability of tailor-made polymers for additive manufacturing in the powder bed as part of the DFG priority program SPP 2122.

 

Industrieprojekt

Smart Finish

In the Smart Finish project, we systematically investigated the surface quality of additively manufactured components made of aluminium, steel and titanium following various finishing processes and evaluated their suitability from a technical and economic point of view.

 

(FKZ: EM 95/2-1)

Projekt FamFatigue

In the FamFatigue project the influence of different scanning strategies on microstructure and mechanical properties of aluminium and titanium materials was investigated. The process control was optimized to maximize the fatigue resistance of dynamically loaded components.

 

(FKZ: ZF4547817DE8)

SinTiM

In the SinTiM project, we are developing a 3D printer that enables the direct processing of granular feedstocks based on metal powder. The low-cost process allows the fast and cost-effective production of metallic prototypes and spare parts.