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Lattice structure tensile specimen manufactured with laser melting (LM) process out of the material H13. Show image information
Industry partners of the DMRC. Show image information
Quality control during a Laser Sinter (LS) build job by a researcher of the DMRC. Show image information
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process during the manufacture of an Ultem 9085 part. Show image information
Additive manufactured reaction wheel bracket for telecomunication satellites. Show image information
Employees of the DMRC working with the "freeformer" from Arburg. Show image information
Tactile measurement of a SLM part with a Coordinatemeasuring machine (CMM). Show image information

Lattice structure tensile specimen manufactured with laser melting (LM) process out of the material H13.

Industry partners of the DMRC.

Quality control during a Laser Sinter (LS) build job by a researcher of the DMRC.

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process during the manufacture of an Ultem 9085 part.

Additive manufactured reaction wheel bracket for telecomunication satellites.

Employees of the DMRC working with the "freeformer" from Arburg.

Tactile measurement of a SLM part with a Coordinatemeasuring machine (CMM).

Mission

We strive to be one of the leading institutes in Additive Manufacturing. To achieve this, we have to drive cutting edge technology and innovation in Additive Manufacturing. Therefore, we want to collaborate along the entire value chain, combining our know-how in design, technology, supply chain, costs etc. to enable and provide new solutions along the whole value chain. We combine basic and applied research to produce novel insights and to open doors for new possibilities enriching our partners’ business. We are strongly committed to academic and industrial education with the goal to train the engineers of the future.

Stakeholder Value Proposition

We are part of an interdisciplinary network. Various stakeholders expect us to create value according their respective needs and requirements; we want to harmonize the value creation in our strategic acting.

With regard to the technology itself, we create a knowledge base for manufacturing. Thereby, we serve the Additive Manufacturing community in general. For our partners, we transform our research output into tangible, industry-relevant outcomes. We generate impulses for interdisciplinary innovation and thus add value to the partners’ business in a close and trustful partnership. Furthermore, we provide well-trained graduates for the industry.

The main benefits of Additive Manufacturing

The DMRC would not be where its at right now, if we did not believe in the power of Additive Manufacturing. For starters, we have collected the main benefits of the technology and outlined them briefly.

Benefit Description
Complex (Bionic) Structures The main advantage of AM is its ability to produce parts with complex structures. As compared to subtractive manufacturing methods such as lathing, milling or forging, AM can produce parts with undercuts and holes. Conventional downstream manufacturing steps are often rendered needless. To harness the potential of complex structures, design engineers more and more draw on numerical optimization methods such as topology optimization to minimize material in parts. The results of these optimizations oftentimes resemble principles known from biology, hence the name bionic structures.
Functional Integration With AM it is possible to pursue Functional Integration during the manufacturing process. Functional Integration means building in one part, what formerly had to be built as separate parts. Thereby, downstream assembly steps can be eliminated if not significantly reduced. As of 2015 it is possible to integrate springs, joints, hinges and even pneumatic actors into one part. Potentials can naturally be sought in complex manufacturing lines with many assembly steps.
Lightweight Design Lightweight Design is one of the core advantages of AM parts. Due to its capability to produce undercuts and holes, material can be cut where unnecessary. The technology has already proved to be a viable production technology in the aerospace industry. With regard to functional performance and strength, AM parts are on par with their substractive counterparts. While they are usually more expensive to manufacture, they yield high potential to reduce costs during operation (total cost of ownership). Potentials can naturally be sought in moving parts with many load cycles.
Conformal Cooling Conformal Cooling describes integrating cooling channels into areas which had formerly been inaccessible for e.g. drills. Thereby, heat can be transferred faster. Especially tools benefit from this advantage for they can be used in shorter cycles. For instance, injection moulds made by AM allow for a higher quality of the polymer part and also increase productivity.
Waste Reduction During conventional machining processes parts are stripped off unnecessary material, thereby creating the final geometry. Naturally this results in a waste of build material and lubricatives. Additionally, tools are susceptible to abrasion leading to downtimes and increased costs. Using AM, parts can be produced almost without waste. Potentials can naturally be sought in larger, complex parts which are machined from a single block of material.
Spare Parts on Demand Printing spare parts on demand is a promising application field for AM. At the very bottom, the core idea is reducing stock inventory for parts that have to be kept in storage for long periods. Via AM the company is able to store the digital models of the part and print it when necessary. Thus, AM is attractive for companies with huge product portfolios, volatile spare part demand and long product life cycles.
  Realization of Last Minute Changes   Since AM is a throughout digital manufacturing process right until the start of the build-job, it is possible to realize last minute changes in the design of a product. Because there is no need of producing manufacturing tools beforehand, changes in a parts geometry can be realized rather quickly. This potential is especially auspicious in cases of volatile customer requirements and pairs well with the application as rapid prototyping.
Decentral Manufacturing Decentral Manufacturing describes distributing the production to local production facilities as compared to centralized production facilities. Each small production facility is supplied with the material necessary to produce the required parts, as compared to distributing final parts. The material can be supplied in larger batches reducing emissions and local manufacturing units can specialize on e.g. regional product variants. Once large production capacities are required, an intelligent platform distributes build jobs according to a multiobjective optimization.
Individualization AM allows for the production of small batches, up to lot size 1 (assuming the quality of each product can be verified). Customer requirements can be met more specifically (e.g. regional requirements). On the extreme, products can be adapted to a single customer. Here, the medical industry is in the vanguard: custom prostheses are a reality today. For the manufacturing industry, potentials can be sought in products with many variants and in products which are directly sold to the consumer.
Repairing Parts Abrasion due to mechanical load or temperature cycles oftentimes causes the replacement of whole parts or groups of parts. Deemed „unrepairable“ old parts are often scrapped. Here, AM bears the potential of printing material onto worn out surfaces via e.g. Laser Melting technology.
Rebuild older parts One application field of AM is the replication of old parts. Machine parks in small and medium sized companies are oftentimes characterized by older machines. Manufacturing equipment which is not supplied anymore can easily be replaced by AM. As long as there is a digital mockup of the part, the part can oftentimes be printed. Potentials can be sought in older machine parks.
Rapid Prototyping Rapid Prototyping describes the production of design or functional prototypes via layer wise manufacturing. In doing so, it is possible to include the customer into the design process and realize faster feedback loops. Some technologies are able to print from a large set of colors. New, high strength materials are able to create functional prototypes in order to verify requirements in the early phases of the development process. Potentials can be sought in complex product development products, volatile customer demand and daring projects which require for fast feedback loops.
Reduce Time to Market The mega-challenge „shorting product life cycles“ necessitates shorter development cycles. AM has proven to be a viable option in order to shorten development cycles. 1) As a Rapid Prototyping technology, it allows for faster design feedbacks and functional testing and 2) as a Direct Manufacturing technology it renders the production of tools unnecessary, therefore enabling a production directly from CAD file.
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