Automated post-processing reduces process costs
The cost of mostly manual post-processing is particularly high for metal AM: It accounts for up to 70 percent of the total process costs. Dr. Ines Dani from the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU in Chemnitz says, “Downstream processing steps have not yet been automated, partly because of the different geometries of the parts to be manufactured. This will now change.” Fraunhofer IWU is developing various autonomous technology modules for the individual processes. A robot takes over both the workpiece handling and the post-process machining.
The ambitious goals of the Fraunhofer partners have so far led to a number of innovations, some of which will be presented at formnext 2019. Among other things, a bionic lever will be exhibited as an example of a large component additively manufactured with a specially designed LPBF machine. A multi-material turbine blade and a rocket nozzle with swirl injectors are further innovations from industries which will soon be conquered by AM. Also on display will be a software demo of the Virtual Lab and the model of a system for automating the previously manual and, therefore, time-consuming post-processing.
Interested visitors can find out more about the current state of metal AM technology at formnext from November 19 to 22, 2019 at the joint Fraunhofer stand D51 in Hall 11.