Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018

After completing her mechanical engineering studies at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) Katharina Kreitz was virtually flooded with job offers from renowned companies. But instead of accepting one she decided to found her own company for developing precise and individual flow probes, which are used among other things in Formula 1 racing.

Katharina Kreitz came up with the idea of founding her own company as the result of dissatisfaction: During her studies, which focused on aeronautics and space technologies, she frequently worked with flow measurements.


Katharina Keitz and Florian Wehner are developing small, stable and individually adaptable flow sensors. (Image: Jooß / TUM)

"I was constantly irritated by the technology of the conventional flow sensors available in the market," she recalls, adding that it "simply wasn't good enough". Kreitz decided to solve this problem: She wanted to develop small, stable and individually adaptable flow sensors and to market them with her own company.

Demand for these products is high. For example, automobile manufacturers install the probes and investigate the aerodynamics of their prototypes in the wind tunnel. Measuring flows is also necessary when making air conditioners, exhaust hoods and drones. And it's not always air that's flowing in all the applications – gas, water and oil flows can be measured as well.

However, if the sensors are too large, they develop their own resistance properties and distort the measurement results. And in the past there were no sensors that could withstand extreme temperature conditions. Kreitz saw the solution in 3D print: This technology can be used to individually adapt sensors to meet the specific needs of each customer.

Supplementary Business Economics studies in Paris

The young entrepreneur founded Vectoflow GmbH in April 2015, together with Dr. Christian Haigermoser, also a TUM graduate. She turned down plenty of job opportunities at various leading companies in the market and rigorously pursued her own objective.

Kreitz and Haigermoser applied for an EXIST start-up grant from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy – and were successful. However, the decision-makers on the EXIST program side wanted to see a business economist on board the team. Kreitz then quickly completed a one-year supplementary curriculum at the Collège des Ingénieurs in Paris. This is where the third partner joined the team: Florian Wehner.

Probes are used in Formula 1 racing

Prof. Christian Breitsamter of the TUM Chair of Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics took on the role of mentor in the context of the EXIST start-up grant, and the Chair of Turbomachinery and Flight Propulsion provided the start-up founders with an office.

The team also received assistance from the UnternehmerTUM Center for Innovation and Business Creation: The "XPRENEURS" program prepared them for market entry, and "Techfounders" put them into contact with potential investors and customers. They also received 25,000 Euros in seed funding and were able to use the high-tech workshop "MakerSpace".

In the meantime Vectoflow has seven permanent employees and customers located around the world – including in China, India, Saudi Arabia and the USA. Among other things the start-up immediately supplied its probes to several racing series, including Formula 1. Kreitz: "We already turned a profit last year, after only two years in business."

Successful support at TUM
According to the current "German Startup Monitor" TUM generates more start-up founders than any other German university. Every year about 70 companies are spun off at TUM. The outstanding support is recognized by the "start-up radar" of the German business community's innovation agency Stifterverband for German Science, which rates TUM in 1st place among major universities.

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.tum.de/nc/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/detail/article/34631/

Dr. Ulrich Marsch | Technische Universität München

Further reports about: 3D 3D printer EXIST TUM air conditioners flow sensors wind tunnel

More articles from Machine Engineering:

nachricht Additive machines discover superalloys
17.05.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS

nachricht Fraunhofer scientists develop universally applicable broadband eddy current electronics
09.04.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP

All articles from Machine Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Discovering unusual structures from exception using big data and machine learning techniques

17.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

ALMA discovers aluminum around young star

17.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

A new iron-based superconductor stabilized by inter-block charger transfer

17.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>