Optimization of Additive Manufacturing Technologies

We further develop manufacturing processes revolving around additive manufacturing for various industry sectors and product groups.   

This includes additive processes themselves, such as powder- or wire-based laser clad welding, but also subtractive processes like milling, turning, cutting and polishing as a part of pre- or post-processing as well as hybrid processes using both. Special additive processes like tape laying or two-photon polymerization - on micro level - complement the technology range of the Fraunhofer IPT.

We develop customer-oriented processing strategies and technologies - from high-gloss surface finish, through the processing of functional surfaces to the removal of support segments. The desired quality is ensured by extensive optical and tactile metrology.

Themes and projects

Project »LightFlex« – More flexibility for heavy-duty components

The combination of 3D priting and fiber-reinforced plastic not only guarantees maximum flexibility of form and function of a component but also stability when exposed to high stress. Products like seat shells for automobiles or medical protheses can thus be adujsted individually and yet be resilient and stable. As a part of the BMBF-funded research project "LightFlex", the Fraunhofer IPT and their affiliated partners examine the combined manufacturing process.   

Additive Processes – Repairing, Structuring and Changing Geometries by Laser Cladding

Tools and dies most rapidly wear out in those areas that are exposed to the highest load during application, ultimately leading to a loss of functionality. However, laser cladding provides an efficient way to repair tools and dies: By locally re-applying the tool material, both its geometries and functionality can be re-established.

Two-Photon Polymerization

Two-Photon Polymerization is a generative process for manufacturing three-dimensional polymer structures with a resolution on submicrometer scale. Due to the high degree of freedom, which allows for unlimited structure designs, highly complex and individual geometries can be generated - something that would not be possible by using conventional machining or lithographic processes. The lateral resolution is 150 nm while the axial resolution is 400 nm. By using galvanometer-based scanning techniques, velocities of up to 10.000 µm/s can be achieved.