Premium AEROTEC, EOS and Daimler have announced a joint project to develop the next generation of Additive Manufacturing technology. According to AEROTEC, the new project, entitled NextGenAM and scheduled to begin in May, 2017, seeks to accelerate the implementation of metal Additive Manufacturing in large-scale serial production.
The primary objective will be to progress the automation of the entire industrial AM process. To do this, the NextGenAM project team will review the entire AM process to examine which parts of it can be automated, from the delivery of metal powder to post-processing. Using its findings, the team is expected to invest several million Euros into the planning of and construction of an automated production facility for AM serial production. A development and test environment for the project will also be established in Varel, Germany, over the course of 2017.
By automating more of the AM process, the partners hope to gain significant cost advantages and to lay the foundations to use this technology for large-scale serial manufacturing in the future. In metal AM, the process stages before and after the actual manufacturing process constitute around 70% of the manufacturing costs. In addition to advanced system technology, the project aims to achieve a qualification of aluminium for use in industrial Additive Manufacturing.
According to AEROTEC, EOS’s Quad-Laser System EOS M 400-4 metal AM machine will be at the core of the new production process as the partners seek to design an economically efficient aluminium-based system, which is suitable for the automotive and aerospace industries.
“We are currently the leader for metal 3D printing in the aerospace industry,” stated Dr Thomas Ehm, CEO, Premium AEROTEC. “Now, we need to continue developing this technology extensively in order to expand its application spectrum significantly. Together with our partners, we can thus ensure state-of-the-art technology for our industry.”
“We are proud to be part of such a forward-looking project alongside Premium AEROTEC and Daimler,” commented Dr Hans J. Langer, Founder and CEO, EOS. “This underlines the growing footprint of industrial 3D printing in serial production. As a technology pioneer in powder-based Additive Manufacturing, we contribute full engagement and long-lasting expertise. With EOS platforms, we push ahead the setup of this future production solution.”
Dr Stefan Kienzle, Head of Advanced Development at Daimler, added, “We invented the car and we are actively shaping the future of mobility. The elements that we bring to this collaboration are our extensive experience in automotive materials and the qualification of those materials, as well as our know-how on efficient and large-scale capacity manufacturing processes, in conjunction with component design that is topologically optimised and uses the latest calculation methods.”