Industry-specific solutions

Production – from the idea through to market launch

Companies which engage in product development, face rapidly changing markets. All the resources in a company must be very highly coordinated, in order to ensure that the resultant product fulfills all customer requirements and that its emergence on the market is timed to achieve optimum effect. We analyze and optimize all processes and technologies involved in the product life cycle – from product development through manufacture and logistics.

Individually shaped hearing aids, dental crowns or made-to-measure bone implants, parts for cars and airplanes – these are some of the first products made in an additive process. They are produced, layer-by-layer directly from the design data, swiftly and economically. The Fraunhofer Competence Field Additive Manufacturing takes account of the variations in requirements and parameters in each sector of industry by coming up with a customized concept for each individual customer.

Manufacturing without limitations

Additive manufacturing requires neither special tools nor molds. This saves time and reduces manufacturing costs. There is scarcely any waste: Excess powder can simply be re-used.

However, the greatest advantage of additive manufacturing is that it offers virtually unlimited design and construction freedom. Components with internal structures can be generated, regardless of geometrical complexity. It will also be possible to produce parts which cannot be manufactured using conventional processes; even complicated shapes with hollow, spiral-shaped channels and undercuts will be produced from metal, plastic or ceramic in one piece.

Industry-specific solutions

The Fraunhofer Competence Field Additive Manufacturing is currently focusing on industrial solutions in five areas of application:

  • Bio-medical engineering
  • Micro-system engineering
  • Automotive engineering & aerospace
  • Tool making
  • Handling and assembly

Design for Additive Manufacturing: Guidelines for Metal Applications

Additive Manufacturing provides nearly unrestricted freedom to design parts in order to optimize their functionality - it offers the ability to produce shapes and designs that would be impossible to produce using conventional manufacturing technologies. An optimized design can be achieved by reducing the weight, the integration of internal features or by reducing the need for assembling separate components. The efficient use of AM technologies requires a rethinking in 3D design, which currently still represents a barrier particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises of metal industry. Advantages and opportunities as well as restrictions of additive manufacturing must be well-known in order to pave the way for a successful commercialization and to make Additive Manufacturing to a competitive production process.

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