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Get Out Of The Niche

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Get Out Of The Niche
Get Out Of The Niche

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Additive manufacturing processes are about to leave the prototype niche and find their place in industrial production. The Leipzig trade fair double Intec and Z 2017 takes this development into account with its specialist program and a technology show. From March 7-10, 2017, companies and research institutions - including bkl-lasertechnik, citim, Concept Laser, enesty, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Applied Materials Research IFAM, Laservorm, Matsuura Machinery, Trumpf Laser- und Systemtechnik as well as 3D metal Theobald - in the technology forum "Additive Manufacturing" in Hall 2, fields of application of this key technology. On the 8th and 9thIn March, speakers from industry and science will give application-oriented insights into the status and perspectives of additive manufacturing in a specialist symposium. Fraunhofer IFAM is the partner of Leipziger Messe in the conception and organization of the forum. “We are delighted to have found a facility with proven expertise in the field of additive manufacturing with Fraunhofer IFAM. According to the orientation of our trade fairs, we focus on metal-based technologies and materials,”says Kersten Bunke, project director of Intec and Z.According to the orientation of our trade fairs, we focus on metal-based technologies and materials,”says Kersten Bunke, project director of Intec and Z.According to the orientation of our trade fairs, we focus on metal-based technologies and materials,”says Kersten Bunke, project director of Intec and Z.

Using the example of this fictitious distributor housing in lightweight aluminum construction, citim shows the almost unlimited possibilities of additive manufacturing
Using the example of this fictitious distributor housing in lightweight aluminum construction, citim shows the almost unlimited possibilities of additive manufacturing

Focus on the middle class

With over 20 years, Fraunhofer IFAM has a long tradition in additive manufacturing at the Bremen and Dresden locations. "With us in Dresden alone, we are developing three different processes with electron beam melting, 3D screen printing and now metallic fused filament fabrication. It is therefore important to us, together with the Leipziger Messe, to focus more on additive manufacturing, especially for small and medium-sized companies,”explains Prof. Bernd Kieback, head of the Dresden branch of Fraunhofer IFAM, explaining the motivation for coordinating the content of the forum.

The focus is on the creation of metallic structures for industry. “It is difficult to highlight individual developments because the entire market is very innovative. At the moment, the powder bed processes using laser or electron beam stand out clearly, and there are new and interesting developments in the specialist literature almost every day,”emphasizes the expert in powder metallurgy. In the meantime, powder bed processes have arrived in industrial reality, with commercial applications in particular in aviation, medicine and toolmaking. The scientist points out that great efforts are still required to fully exploit the potential of these new manufacturing methods.“In addition, there is still a great deal of uncertainty about the possibilities and chances of additive manufacturing, especially in medium-sized companies. This is also where the forum should come in to clarify these questions,”emphasizes Prof. Bernd Kieback.

Intec and Z 2017

Leipzig becomes the stronghold of the metalworking industry and the supply industry in March

Select the right system technology

German manufacturers are among the international leaders in plant engineering for metal-based additive processes. The basis for this is not least the development work in the local science. With around 20 years of experience in additive manufacturing of metallic components with selective laser melting (Selective Laser Melting - SLM), the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT Aachen is the world's leading research institution in this field. In his lecture on March 8, Florian Eibl will examine the status and trends in system development. The team leader for system and component development SLM at the ILT primarily deals with the choice of the right system. “Here it is advisable to always look at the component with which method and which type of system can achieve the greatest possible benefit. Planned applications,Quantity and utilization are factors that should be taken into account when purchasing,”he suggests. In general, it can be observed that more and more companies are opening up the potential of additive manufacturing for series applications. "The hype surrounding the topic subsides and gives way to an objective analysis of possible applications, for example for automotive suppliers," says Florian Eibl.

Topology-optimized component "main gear bracket rear" (demonstrator). Fraunhofer IFAM is presenting case studies from the aviation and automotive industries, including bracket components, at the “Additive Manufacturing” technology forum
Topology-optimized component "main gear bracket rear" (demonstrator). Fraunhofer IFAM is presenting case studies from the aviation and automotive industries, including bracket components, at the “Additive Manufacturing” technology forum

With Concept Laser GmbH from the Franconian town of Lichtenfels, an internationally leading provider of machine and system technology for 3D printing of metal components in Leipzig provides an insight into its range of services. With the patented laser cusing process - a powder-bed-based laser melting of metals - the company opens up new freedom in the shaping of components and also enables the tool-free, economical production of highly complex components in smaller batch sizes. The 3D metal printers from Concept Laser process, among other things, powder materials made of stainless steel and hot-work steel, aluminum and titanium alloys and precious metals.

Video: trade fair impressions from the last Intec 2015

Unimagined possibilities in component design

Citim GmbH Barleben has many years of experience in additive manufacturing. The company, which was founded in 1996 as a spin-off from Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, is now one of the leading suppliers of additively manufactured metal components. As part of the Intec and Z 2017, the company from Saxony-Anhalt will demonstrate its performance on various parts made of aluminum, stainless steel, Inconel, copper and titanium alloys, for example for the automotive industry and space travel. An example of the economical use of additive manufacturing is an antenna arm for an earth observation satellite, which has been topology-optimized and leads to a 40 percent weight reduction compared to the previous design."The extensive use of additive manufacturing technologies opens up unimagined possibilities in component design," says Peter Böttner. The citim project engineer will speak at the technology forum on March 8th on "Material spectrum & case studies".

Intec and Z

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Meaningful connection of two worlds

3D-Metall Theobald from Leipzig, founded in 2016, is a young provider of additive manufacturing. The contract manufacturer, for example, serves the machine and apparatus construction with special parts made of stainless steel and bronze. During the Intec and Z 2017, he will be giving insights into his range of services on the special display area. Company founder Hans-Werner Theobald discovered the topic for himself as the production manager of a medium-sized special machine manufacturer: "It was too expensive for the tasks at that time, but when it comes to complexly shaped components in smaller quantities, this new technology offers integrated design and lightweight construction Design options that are difficult or impossible to achieve with conventional processes.“The trained industrial mechanic and industrial engineer refers to nozzles for sterilization technology, which he creates using selective laser melting. Here, various bronze versions can be placed on a standardized base body in one process step. "The example shows that additive manufacturing is not a substitute for conventional machining processes. Rather, it makes it clear that you can usefully combine both worlds,”emphasizes the specialist.Rather, it makes it clear that you can usefully combine both worlds,”emphasizes the specialist.Rather, it makes it clear that you can usefully combine both worlds,”emphasizes the specialist.

This antenna arm, manufactured by citim additiv, was developed in a joint project with the space company RUAG Space and the companies Altair and EOS
This antenna arm, manufactured by citim additiv, was developed in a joint project with the space company RUAG Space and the companies Altair and EOS

Legal aspects are becoming increasingly important

The further the additive manufacturing leaves the prototype stage, the more legal aspects in the digital process chain become more important. Marco Müller-ter Jung will speak at the symposium on March 9th. The specialist lawyer for IT law from DWF Germany Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH is the vice chairman of the VDI specialist committee formed in 2016 "105.5 Additive Manufacturing - Legal Aspects of Additive Manufacturing Processes" for the identification of legally relevant technical questions of this disruptive new technology. “Additive processes are changing established processes in product development and manufacturing. Previously, the drawing for a new development was locked in the safe,Today, the data is relatively openly accessible and is used across companies and changed depending on the process step. Who owns which data? What are the rights and obligations for the partners in the value chain? How is security and authenticity guaranteed? Who is liable if the end product has defects? With additive manufacturing, these and other questions are on the agenda and require answers,”says Marco Müller-ter Jung, outlining the complexity. The drafting of contracts between material suppliers, designers, plant manufacturers, manufacturers and other service providers is also important. Start-ups in particular would often not pay enough attention to legal aspects. “However, it pays off to set up product and business model development in accordance with the law from the start. Who does notThe subject usually catches up painfully,”says the lawyer's experience. (br)

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