Additive manufacturing (aka "3D printing") has become indispensable for the production of highly complex metallic components, bionically inspired lightweight design, or prototypes.
For conventional manufacturing, the existing quality infrastructure (QI) system has proven itself. Additive manufacturing, however, considerably increases the creative scope of possible component geometries and process errors. This is where QI reaches its limits so that the production and approval of safety-relevant components require very time-consuming and cost-intensive tests. Modern digital QI allows more efficient quality assurance for additively manufactured components. This requires a continuous digital mapping of the physical material flow.
To address these challenges, we are researching the following topics:
- Development of new process-integrated quality assurance measures (process monitoring)
- Further development and evaluation of non-destructive testing methods for downstream quality assurance
- New digital methods for the evaluation of process and measurement data
- Database systems for reference data of additively processed materials
- Development of norms and standards, guidelines for certification, and product labels
With our work, we contribute to creating concrete solutions for quality-assured additive manufacturing and make them accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises in particular. In this way, there is data-based certainty that a specific component can always be manufactured in repeatable quality.
The sustainable transfer to the SME sector
The development of a digital QI enables objective quality assurance in additive manufacturing and makes the technology more usable, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. It becomes fully applicable within the framework of the quality claim "Made in Germany" - especially in the case of upheaval in industrial sectors.
To this end, we are setting up an open Living Lab at BAM, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, in which the entire process chain is mapped digitally and in real life. Here, our scientists are working together with the players in German QI and with interested companies on fundamental and practical solutions for digitally supported quality assurance in additive manufacturing.
The "Additive Manufacturing for SMEs" Living Lab is embedded in the Additive Manufacturing Competence Centre AM@BAM of the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing).