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Design & Simulation

Design freedom: Conventional manufacturing methods have imposed many restrictions on product design, many of which no longer apply to additive manufacturing (AM). AM provides developers and designers with maximum design freedom and thus a high degree of function optimization and integration. It allows the modeling of highly complex structures, extremely lightweighted and stable at the same time. Bionic and digital design are the guiding principles of AM design. Form no longer follows producability, but function.

To what extent does this new design freedom require a rethinking of the development and construction process? How important is simulation in the product development process and beyond?


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New materials

From the existing to the new: Components manufactured with AM were first printed in their original materials. Plastics and synthetic resins were among the first printable materials. Meanwhile, there is a full spectrum of printable materials such as metals, ceramics, bio-masses and composites. Hybrid materials and powder mixtures that go far beyond the properties of traditional materials are currently entering the market. As the material spectrum and their quality increase, there is a wider application range, making AM more interesting for SMEs.

Which are the new innovative materials, and which applications evolve based on them?


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Series PRODUCTION & AUtomation

The core of the digital factory: - Additive manufacturing is one of the most promissing production methods for the future. Yet, additive and conventional manufacturing are not in competition, they rather complement one another. Traditional manufacturing is suitable for large quantities of identical components with low complexity. AM, on the other hand, allows smaller quantities of different components with high complexity. With increasing AM maturity, this digital production technology is finding its way into more and more factories, and into series production. In addition, There is work going on to automate the additive value chain, and to connect it with conventional technology.

How can stable series production of AM with consistent product quality be achieved? What challenges need to be overcome? What is to be done to connect AM and traditional production? How important is AM for the digitally connected fully automated production?


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Postprocessing & Quality

Identical components & reliability: AM productivity is still essentially defined by high cost and time-consuming in post-processing. Studies estimate the costs for post-processing at 60-300% of the AM process, depending on the applied process, material and component. Typical post-processing steps are smoothing, sealing, finishing, removal of support structures, markings and residual powder, heat treatment and re-compaction. On the one hand, automation of these currently mostly manual post processes is required. On the other hand, it is important to plan the post-processing steps and thus the entire AM process chain right at the start of the product development stage.

What does optimal post-processing look like? How can the post-processing effort be minimized, what do I have to consider?


At the ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING FORUM, leading experts from both the provider and the user side will share their experiences with you and answer your questions.