Published 19 April 2017
Posted by Stephen Holmes
Premium Aerotec and Daimler have joined with EOS to prepare their production lines for large scale aluminium part serial manufacturing using metals 3D printing.
The metal and carbon fibre composite aircraft structures supplier Premium Aerotec is looking to expand its capabilities beyond aerospace, joining with the other parties to invest several million euros developing its NextGenAM project.
Scheduled to begin in May 2017, at Aerotec’s technology centre in Varel, Germany, the objective is to progress the automation of the entire industrial 3D printing process.
The NextGenAM project team will view the entire additive manufacturing process to find which elements can be automated, from the delivery of metal powder to the processing stages after the build process itself.
The partners hope to gain ‘significant cost advantages’ from the project, and build the foundations for large-scale serial manufacturing in the future, with Aerotec currently identifying that the process stages before and after the actual manufacturing process constitute around 70 per cent of the manufacturing costs.
In addition to advanced system technology, the project also strives for a qualification of aluminum for use in industrial 3D printing.
The automotive manufacturer Daimler will provide comprehensive experience in large-scale serial production.
The economically efficient aluminium-based complete system which is to be developed cooperatively over the course of NextGenAM shall be capable for automotive industry and – respectively adapted – for aerospace as well. This provides the opportunity to open up innovative 3D printing manufacturing technology for a wide range of applications.
“We invented the car, and we are actively shaping the future of mobility” barked Dr. Stefan Kienzle, head of advance development at Daimler AG.
Dr. Thomas Ehm, CEO of Premium Aerotec, intervened: “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.”