Additive Manufacturing

  Not available Copyright: Fraunhofer ILT

Additive Manufacturing (AM) leads to a change and extention of limits of product design. Geometries of high complexity can be generated, as the component is built up layer by layer. This production process is already applied in prototyping as components can be manufactured directly from 3D CAD data. In the future additive manufacturing will be the key factor of individualized production as well as for spare parts. Additive manufacturing therefore will push on mass customization.


The Chair of Digital Additive Production and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT) doing research on Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF). This technology allows the direct manufacturing of individual metallic components in one process step. Therefore, L-PBF has a big advantage in contrast to mould-based processes especially for complex metallic structures.

The Chair of Technology and Innovation Management (TIM) of the TIME Research Area focuses on the development of innovative product ideas. Their research aims to understand customer value creation and how to manage disruptive innovation and technology acceptance. TIM gives a business perspective on additive manufacturing.

The Chair of Foundry Science and Technology and Foundry Institut (GI) of RWTH Aachen University adresses foundry processes along the value chain. Additive manufacturing can be a chance for foundry processes to shorten the product development processes. In die casting it also allows the realization of new geometries.

The Department of Ferrous Metallurgy (IEHK) of RWTH Aachen University develops new allows for Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF). The goal is to accelerate the additive manufacturing and to improve the surface quality of L-PBF-products.

The Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) at RWTH Aachen University deals with the additive production of shape changing hybrid textiles (4D textiles) and technical textiles. With the help of fused-deposition-molding on textiles, hybrid structures can be realized for implants with a few square millimeters to applications in architecture of several square meters.

The Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV), affiliated institute of RWTH Aachen University, integrates L-PBF technology into the development of profile extrusion dies in order to enable complex flow channels and high surface qualities.

The Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM) investigates the value-added chain of electric mobility. In terms of plastic components a machinery pool consisting of several 3D printers is available among other things. Especially Polyjet and FDM technologies are in the focus of research interest. The 3D printers are also available for external print orders (de).

The KEX Knowledge Exchange AG is provider of demand-based information and deals among others with trends and technologies of additive manufacturing.