In recent years, additive manufacturing processes have been established in many areas of application. Layer-building processes have become the key to short development times and an economical manufacturing system for complex component geometries and small to medium batch sizes. Additive manufacturing (AM) processes serve an ever broader range of applications. Originally only known to research institutions, additive manufacturing technologies are now increasingly applied in the aviation industry, toolmaking and the automotive industry in order to strengthen production.
At Fraunhofer IPK, three key technologies are considered: selective laser melting (SLM), selective laser sintering (SLS) and 3D printing. Many metallic alloys and plastics can be safely processed and used for application fields from individual production to small series production. Components created on the basis of 3D CAD data can compete with conventionally produced goods in terms of material properties. In addition, tool-free production offers enormous advantages and added value in today's production landscape.