Forming and casting of glass, plastic or sheet metal

The terms "primary forming" and "forming" cover all manufacturing processes in which a solid body with a geometrically defined shape is created from a material. At Fraunhofer IPT, we work with materials such as glass and plastic or with sheet metal, which we provide in high quality for a wide range of applications.

Our specialty is complexly shaped components with high surface quality manufactured to close tolerances. Here, primary and forming processes offer the advantage of comparatively lower energy consumption, better material utilization than, for example, machining, and not least the possibility of producing large quantities in a short time.

Reducing costs in the series production of high-quality components

These processes are therefore particularly suitable for the series production of complex and high-quality components, for example for consumer electronics, vehicle construction or medical technology. Precise glass and plastic optics, as well as microstructured and microfluidic components, can be manufactured in this way without further post-processing steps. The resulting components find their place in entirely new products, which can thus be offered to end customers at significantly lower cost than before.

We are also pushing the boundaries of conventional sheet metal processing by testing new materials and using hybrid processes to raise machining quality and component complexity to a new level: We form high-strength sheets such as steel or titanium in our own press. Shorter cycle times and high production volumes with lower tool wear as well as continuous smooth cut components during normal cutting in the progressive die are the goal and subject of various research projects and industrial cooperations.

Our range of services extends from market studies for the exploitation of your products to the design and manufacture of the respective molds and the simulation and execution of systematic test series. In doing so, we combine our interdisciplinary competencies in component design, high-tech tool and mold making, replication process mapping and specialized system assembly.

In hot demand: Molded components for mass markets

For plastic injection molding, glass forming or sheet metal forming, we integrate thermal primary and forming processes into the process chain. From tool design and process simulation to the production of prototypes and experimental small series – we offer you sustainable expertise, industry-ready technologies and the integration of the processes into your production from a single source.


Glass forming

Our processes for forming glass range – depending on the material and desired application – from precision molding to non-isothermal molding to deep drawing and slumping of thin glass.

Material characterization

We analyze the properties of materials such as glass, plastic and metal using state-of-the-art equipment.

Sheet metal working

With processes and individual modules for thermally assisted sheet metal processing, we improve cutting and punching processes and reduce scrap rates in series production.


Plastics processing

For the processing of a wide variety of plastics, we develop tools and processes for hot stamping and injection molding, but also for roll-to-roll processes, with which we produce optical surfaces and microstructures cost-effectively.