The future of 3D printing will be the focus at formnext 2018 in Frankfurt am Main. For this, the Fraunhofer Focus Project futureAM offers particularly exciting insights, a project in which six Fraunhofer institutes are involved. The partners are doing both, comprehensively looking at digital and physical added value right from the order to the finished component; and at the leap into a new technology generation of additive manufacturing.
The complete process chain serves as the common theme
The Laser Powder Bed Fusion system offers a very large, effectively usable installation space (1,000 mm x 800 mm x 500 mm).
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany
Under the leadership of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, “futureAM – Next Generation Additive Manufacturing” was launched in November 2017 to accelerate the additive manufacturing of metal components by at least a factor of 10.
“We are focusing on the complete process chain from order processing through design and simulation all the way to production in the machines”, explains Christian Tenbrock, research associate at Fraunhofer ILT and project coordinator of futureAM.
“This approach is very important to us, as integration is at the very heart of the project”. For a year now, the research platform has been developing digital process chains, scalable and robust AM processes, system technology and automation as well as tailor-made AM materials.
On the subject of scalable processes, Fraunhofer ILT is presenting a machine configuration for the Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF), also known as Selective Laser Melting (SLM), of large metal components in Frankfurt am Main.
The Aachen-based scientists have developed a new laser head for the laboratory system – already shown at the last formnext – with a very large, effectively usable installation space (1,000 mm x 800 mm x 500 mm), which increases productivity by a factor of 10 compared to conventional LPBF systems. The researchers are currently implementing the configuration, and in 2019 the first practical trials will start with this prototype system.
High-speed laser metal deposition in three dimensions
A multi-award-winning technology is involved in “Extreme High-Speed Laser Metal Deposition (EHLA)”, which can coat, repair or additively manufacture components in a particularly economical and environmentally friendly way.
This technology has already proven its worth by applying thin protective layers, for example on meter-long offshore cylinders at high speeds. So far, EHLA has been used only in rotationally symmetric parts. The next step is to create 3D geometries. For this purpose, a prototype plant is being built in Aachen, where the workpiece is moved in a highly dynamic manner with up to five times the gravitational acceleration under the EHLA powder nozzle.
The ear at the process
In addition, the Aachen scientists are working on new methods for monitoring the 3D printing of metals in order to increase process robustness. “With structure-borne sensors in the construction platform, we want to detect critical events in the future, such as when support structures tear off”, explains Tenbrock. Ultrasonic sensors are also used to analyze airborne sound in order to determine component quality.
Research into laser-based ultrasound measurement will go a step further in the future: a pulsed laser will induce structure-borne noise in the component, which in turn will be detected by a laser vibrometer. “We want to find tiny pores on the spot in order to be able to intervene immediately”, explains the scientist. “The in-situ measurement process should, for example, make it possible to rework problem areas with another exposure sequence”.
Fraunhofer Focus Project “futureAM – Next Generation Additive Manufacturing”
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has called futureAM into being to systematically develop the additive manufacturing of metallic components further. These six institutes have entered into a strategic project partnership in the field of additive manufacturing:
Interested parties can find out more about the current state of metal-based AM technology at the “International exhibition and conference on the next generation of manufacturing technologies – formnext” from November 13 to 16, 2018 at the joint Fraunhofer booth in Hall 3.0/Booth E70.
M.Sc. M.Sc. Christian Tenbrock
Group Laser Powder Bed Fusion LPBF
Telephone +49 241 8906-8350
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Johannes Henrich Schleifenbaum
Head of the Competence Area Additive Manufacturing and Functional Layers
Telephone +49 241 8906-398
Petra Nolis M.A. | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
BladeFactory research project: Quicker rotor blade production and a higher quality result
12.10.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Windenergiesysteme IWES
“TwoCure”: the New Dimension in Resin-Based 3D Printing
11.10.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences