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:
    3D printing (binder jetting) and selective laser sintering (SLS)
  • Suspension- or feedstock-based additive manufacturing methods: lithography-based ceramic manufacturing (LCM), laminated object manufacturing (LOM), thermoplastic 3D printing (T3DP), 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.)