Shaping and Functionalization

Shaping with Integrated Functions

Shaping processes for formless materials like powders and melts have the decisive advantage that in each individual manufacturing step in the process chain a simultaneous integration of additional functions into the end product can be considered and implemented. Current manufacturing technological and material science know-how and many years of experience form the basis of the work of the Core Competence Shaping and Functionalization.

Powder-Based Functions

Unique among manufacturing processes, the powder-based production of components allows the simultaneous adjustment of material properties and component geometry. Our offer encompasses component development and the production of pilot series as well as the transfer of know-how and the qualification of production personnel.

Function Integration with Additive Manufacturing

The use of additive manufacturing technologies, that allows the creation of components in almost arbitrary and very complex shapes from powdered materials and directly from CAD files without the use of tools, enables the manufacture of prototypes for fast product development as well as highly individualized products for the end user. Components can also be functionalized after production through functional printing. Various powder-based printing technologies are therefore also an important element of this core competence. With our special in-house designed and automated production line, this process is being implemented on an industrial scale.

Integration of Functions by Primary Shaping

In casting technology, the main focus is on the development of function-integrated castings. Already during production, fibers – such as carbon, ceramic, or glass fibers – are integrated directly into the cast component for the systematic tailoring of such mechanical properties as strength or rigidity. Embedded RFID transponders permit a distinct identification and tracing of castings and offer protection against plagiarism.


Research Objectives in the Department of Shaping and Functionalization


  • Powder injection molding
  • Pressing and sintering
  • Additive manufacturing (SLM, EBM, binder-based)
  • Printed electronics
  • High-pressure die casting, low-pressure die casting, lost foam casting, and investment casting
  • Lost cores
  • Integration of fiber structures
  • Integration of RFID transponders and sensors (CASTTRONICS)
  • Simulation
  • Analytics and material geography
  • X-ray testing and computer tomography

Learn more about the shaping and functionalization expertise at Fraunhofer IFAM in our different departments


Smart Systems

The Smart Systems department develops components and systems that capture environmental data via integrated sensors.


Powder Technology

An understanding of the process from the powder to component – regarding materials, shaping, tolerances, process safety, and the specific component requirements.


Plasma Technology and Surfaces

The Plasma Technology and Surfaces department researches surface modifications of various materials.


Casting Technology and Lightweight Construction

This department accompanies industrial clients in the casting technological implementation from idea via first prototype to the usable product.