Fraunhofer and Additive Industries cooperate in the Netherlands
Fraunhofer is now picking up speed in the field of additive manufacturing in the Netherlands: Through the cooperation of the Fraunhofer Project Center at the University of Twente (FPC@UT) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT with the Dutch supplier Additive Industries B.V. based in Eindhoven, Fraunhofer is further expanding its activities in the Benelux countries. Via the Fraunhofer Project Center, Dutch industry in particular will gain completely new access to current research and development in the field of additive manufacturing (AM).
During Formnext 2019, the international trade fair for additive technologies in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, from November 19 to 22, the partners announced their collaboration to join forces and work on key developments in the field of laser beam powder bed fusion (L-PBF). Their aim is to accelerate the implementation of the L-PBF technology for industrial series production. With combined expertise and a holistic approach the three partners plan to qualify new materials, improve design guidelines, increase post-processing expertise and finally enable the integration of L-PBF into industrial process chains – to lift industrial additive manufacturing to a mature level and enable broad industry accepta
Implementing additive manufacturing considering the whole process chain
As the partnership between Additive Industries and the two closely associated Fraunhofer entities aims to transfer state-of-the-art additive processes into existing industrial production, the partners place particular emphasis on the holistic view of the integrated process chains. Therefore, additive manufacturing technologies are not just considered as single further steps in the production chain. Rather, the experts will jointly include all preceding and subsequent steps in their decisions as to if and how additional technologies should be implemented.
The Fraunhofer IPT and the FPC@UT contribute many years of technological and methodical experience in all fields of production technology to the cooperation. “In this way, we can cover the entire field of industrial requirements from materials science, additive processes and post-processing to integration into existing processes. Because we know that it is particularly difficult for manufacturing companies to keep track of all this themselves,” explains Daan Kersten, founder and CEO of Additive Industries.
“Our collaboration will lead to new solutions, that will help industry to improve their AM activities in the field of L-PBF on a fast-track”, predicts Kai Winands, head of the competence field Additive Manufacturing at the Fraunhofer IPT.
Start of operations: Additive Industries delivers first 3D metal printer to the FPC@UT
Simultaneously with the start of the cooperation, Additive Industries will also be supplying a system for research of metallic 3D printing to the FPC@UT. “The MetalFab1 is in my view the first metal printer that has been designed from the bottom up with industrial scale manufacturing in mind,” says Ian Gibson, Scientific director of the FPC@UT. The system will be used for applied research and development of industrial scale process chains and marks the start of operational work at the FPC@UT in the field of additive manufacturing.
With the joint forces of the three partners, a competence pool of experts in the field of additive manufacturing processes and latest technology will now be available for companies especially in the Netherlands.