Additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) methods are used for generation of parts through successive pointwise, linewise, or layerwise application of material. This building principle makes it possible to create geometrically complex, functionalized structures that could not be realized at all or could only be produced at great cost using conventional methods. Another advantage of this building principle is the very sparing raw materials consumption; just the amounts of raw materials actually needed are used. These tool-free shaping methods can be used to produce customized one-offs or small batches with high efficiency and without the tooling expenses of conventional methods.

Fraunhofer IKTS has been using AM methods for ceramic components since the 1990s and was a founding member of the Fraunhofer Additive Manufacturing Alliance, which was established in 1998. Today, Fraunhofer IKTS offers complete AM solutions ranging from powder and suspension/feedstock development and production method selection to functionalization and quality control of novel parts and systems:

  • Powder bed-based additive manufacturing methods:
    binder jetting (BJ) and selective laser sintering (SLS)
  • Suspension- or feedstock-based additive manufacturing methods: vat photo polymerization (VPP), laminated object manufacturing (LOM), multi material jetting (MMJ), and fused filament fabrication (FFF)
  • Functionalization through application methods: inkjet printing,
    aerosol jet printing, screen printing, jet dispensing, and diode laser sintering
  • Non-destructive testing methods for in-line process monitoring: laser speckle photometry (LSP), optical coherence tomography (OCT), and standard analysis methods (ultrasonic testing, X-ray computed tomography, etc.)




Additive manufacturing methods can generally be divided into powder-based and suspension-based methods according to the starting material state.



While additive methods offer fundamentally new geometry and functionality options due to their working principle, they create even more possibilities in terms of functions and applications when combined with 2D and 2.5D methods.


Quality assurance

For additive manufacturing to become established as a competitive manufacturing method for applications beyond small batch manufacturing, issues concerning quality assurance and overall economic efficiency must first be addressed.


Potential new applications

The technologies shown here pave the way for a new generation of tool-free methods for small-batch, cost-efficient manufacturing of complex, multi-functional ceramic components made of different materials.

Cooperation models

Innovation and development are the cornerstones of a promising corporate future. In order to create a competitive edge, Fraunhofer offers tailored options for cooperation, so that small and medium-sized companies can work together in the best possible way. This also allows to utilize development skills at short notice and as needed.