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. Two of these processes are additive manufacturing (AM) and laser structuring. The Fraunhofer IPT researches and develops these two 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.
Process technology for the future
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.
Our services at a glance
- Development of functionalizing nano- and microstructures
- Development of individual additive manufacturing processes
- Design of (hybrid) process chains for additive manufacturing and laser structuring
- Feasibility studies for additive manufacturing and laser structuring
- Development and production of prototypes#
- Integration of innovative processes into industrial series production