Directed Energy Manufacturing

Modern manufacturing processes offer companies a higher degree of agility and flexibility to meet changing requirements. In addition to conventional manufacturing processes, which are constantly being improved and developed, unconventional technologies are increasingly shaping the manufacturing landscape. The predominantly laser-based unconventional processes open up new possibilities and effectively complement existing methods. Some of these processes are Additive Manufacturing (AM), Laser Structuring as well as material processing using high-pressure water jets. The Fraunhofer IPT researches and develops these technologies further and integrates them into manufacturing process chains.

Everything from a single source

We conduct practice-oriented research and offer our customers solutions suitable for industrial use. On the basis of real components, we research innovative manufacturing processes and optimize them up to the series production process.

Our research and development work focuses on the one hand on producing the best possible component and on the other hand on generating continuous process chains. In this way, we not only produce components manufactured by additives, but also carry out almost all upstream and downstream processing steps of the components (EDM, ECM, milling, turning, etc.). The Fraunhofer IPT is thus the only research institution in Germany to offer all production steps from the starting material to the final component from a single source.

Laser-based manufacturing technologies

Additive Manufacturing and Laser Structuring do not replace subtractive manufacturing, but their use effectively expands the technology portfolio and increases the agility of manufacturing companies. Powder bed-based Additive Manufacturing processes such as Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) and wire-based Additive Manufacturing processes such as Laser Metal Deposition with wire (LMD-w) offer many advantages for manufacturing in almost every industrial sector and are forward-looking process technologies.

Components with new functions

In addition to Additive Manufacturing, the Fraunhofer IPT also deals with industry-oriented nano and microstructures. By Laser Structuring of component surfaces with various ultra-short pulse lasers, the functionalization of 3D-shaped surfaces is possible. In this way, hydrophilic (water-loving), hydrophobic (water-repellent), lipophilic/lipophobic (fat-loving/fat-repellent) and even bactericidal (kills bacteria) structures can be applied. With surface functionalization, components receive significantly extended and improved properties.

Material processing with high-pressure waterjets: saving resources and materials while cutting, drilling and ablating high-performance materials

Waterjet machining is suitable for even high-performance materials like nickel-based alloys, titanium aluminides, CFRP and technical ceramics.

Material processing with a high-pressure waterjet conserves both materials and resources since low tooling and manufacturing costs are incurred, and since the narrow cutting gap wastes virtually no material. In addition, waterjet machining consumes less material when than other manufacturing methods as the component does not suffer thermal damage.

Our services at a glance  

  • Development of functionalizing nano- and microstructures
  • Development of individual AM processes
  • Design of (hybrid) process chains for Additive Manufacturing, Laser Structuring and and High pressure water jet machining
  • Feasibility studies for Additive Manufacturing, Laser Structuring and High pressure water jet machining
  • Development and production of prototypes
  • Integration of innovative processes into industrial series production

Our Fields of Action

 

Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF)

 

Laser Structuring

 

Wire-Based Laser Metal Deposition (LMD-w)

 

Additive Manufacturing in the process chain

 

Multi-axial cutting of special materials with the water jet

 

Water jet ablation

Projects

Publicly funded projects enable us to break new technological ground. Here you will find some examples: