The Fraunhofer IGCV conducts research in cooperation with the Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management (iwb) of Technical University of Munich, in the area of layering processes in Augsburg for more than 25 years now. At the beginning, the focus still was on stereolithography processes for prototype applications, which have by now been replaced primarily by metal-working processes for series production. The major part of additive activities at present originates from the research area of processing technology. There the “Additive Manufacturing” group primarily focuses on powder bed-based processes for manufacturing metal high-performance parts, such as laser beam melting (LBM). The competences in this context are:
the generation of three-dimensional multi-material parts (parts consisting of at least two metal alloys or a metal alloy and technical ceramics). The activities address the development and advancement of the process equipment outside the beam path just as the development of suitable test methods and procedures for powder reuse
the qualification of additive manufacturing processes for processing special materials (e.g. tungsten, carbide metals, copper alloys, nickel-based materials, etc.)
PowderLAB – a laboratory for the application-oriented examination of power materials regarding the influence of contaminations and the aging behavior
the optimization of parts dimensioning e.g. by applying bionic principles
the support of companies with implementing additive manufacturing processes by means of potential studies, implementation strategies, and production planning. In this context, the Fraunhofer IGCV also considers aspects of safety for the operation of additive manufacturing facilities (see VDI expert committee 105.6)
In the area of casting technology the use of binder-based additive manufacturing processes for producing cores for casting processes is researched. The main focus is on the binder jetting process from Voxeljet. Whereas the research area of composite technologies addresses the use of extrusion-based additive manufacturing processes for producing fiber-reinforced polymer parts.