Procedures for Additive Manufacturing

Researchers at the Fraunhofer IFAM have been working on additive manufacturing for many years. The focus is on powder-based processes for metallic materials. However, new materials are also being developed for special applications on behalf of customers or in publicly funded projects. The extensive equipment of the Fraunhofer IFAM enables the complete processing of the problems associated with additive manufacturing. The entire additive manufacturing process chain is available at the institute.

Laser Beam Melting (LBM)

	Additively (SLM) manufactured wound spreader with internal channel and integrated RFID chip
© Fraunhofer IFAM
Additively (SLM) manufactured wound spreader with internal channel and integrated RFID chip

In laser beam melting, a laser exposes contours and volumes of two-dimensional layers. The deposition of many layers on top of each other results in the component.  After the construction process, the component must be separated from the construction platform, de-powdered and - if desired - thermally treated.

Metal Binder Jetting (MBJ)

© Fraunhofer IFAM
Turbine wheel made of 316L stainless steel – surface as sintered

Binder Jetting is an additive manufacturing process in which parts are build by locally printing an organic binder into a powder bed to cause adhesion of the powder particles. After curing the binder, the green part is cleaned of the loose powder. In a combined furnace process, the binder is removed and the powder particles fuse together.

Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)

© Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden
Fused Filament Fabrication - Printed and sintered gear wheel

The Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) process for the additive manufacturing of plastic components is widely used in both industrial and private applications. The reasons for this are easy handling, a wide choice of materials and inexpensive and affordable plant technology. The Fraunhofer IFAM is now expanding its range of materials to include metallic components.  

Continuous Stereolithography

Continuous manufacture using the layer-by-layer principle for synthetic materials.
© Fraunhofer IFAM/Thorsten Müller
Continuous manufacture using the layer-by-layer principle for synthetic materials.

The patented process uses the technique of photopolymerization according to the DLP principle with a rotating cylinder as a substrate, the lower part immersed in a polymer bath. The polymer is cured stepwise. During the stepwise rotation of the roller, a component is built up on the submerged roller area.

Analytics

Röntgendiffraktometer
© Fraunhofer IFAM
Röntgendiffraktometer

A modern "Service Center for Materialography and Analytics" at the Fraunhofer IFAM is available for the analysis of starting materials and component testing.