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 More powerful electric motors with 3D printing: EXIST research transfer from TU Freiberg pushes additive manufacturing
20.07.2020 | Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg

nachricht Fraunhofer ISE Develops with Partners a Novel High-Throughput System for Functional Printing
16.07.2020 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

All articles from Machine Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: AI & single-cell genomics

New software predicts cell fate

Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

Im Focus: NYUAD astrophysicist investigates the possibility of life below the surface of Mars

  • A rover expected to explore below the surface of Mars in 2022 has the potential to provide more insights
  • The findings published in Scientific Reports, Springer Nature suggests the presence of traces of water on Mars, raising the question of the possibility of a life-supporting environment

Although no life has been detected on the Martian surface, a new study from astrophysicist and research scientist at the Center for Space Science at NYU Abu...

Im Focus: Manipulating non-magnetic atoms in a chromium halide enables tuning of magnetic properties

New approach creates synthetic layered magnets with unprecedented level of control over their magnetic properties

The magnetic properties of a chromium halide can be tuned by manipulating the non-magnetic atoms in the material, a team, led by Boston College researchers,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: The final touches for surfaces

23.07.2020 | Event News

Conference radar for cybersecurity

21.07.2020 | Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

First radio detection of an extrasolar planetary system around a main-sequence star

04.08.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

The art of making tiny holes

04.08.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Early Mars was covered in ice sheets, not flowing rivers

04.08.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>