Multidirectional Additive ManufacturingCopyright: © IGMR
Additive manufacturing - known as 3D printing - is subject to a number of restrictions due to the 2.5-dimensional layered structure of components. These restrictions make the construction of components with overhangs and cavities only possible by means of supporting structures, lead to inhomogeneous component properties and make the printing of already existing complex surfaces almost impossible. The disadvantages extend beyond additive manufacturing with plastic to metal processing. Especially welding processes with wire feeding are subject to major limitations.
This motivates the research work at IGMR to equip the conventional 3D printing with more degrees of freedom in order to enable a restriction-free additive manufacturing with the help of robotics.
The Multidirectional Additive Manufacturing researched at the IGMR is intended to enable and optimize the restriction-free additive manufacturing both in the conventional Fused Deposition Modeling, short FDM, process with plastics and for metallic deposition welding by adapting the entire process chain of additive manufacturing. The aim is the production of components with adapted and individualized properties and functions.
The multidirectional additive manufacturing process researched at IGMR is characterized by a fixed print head (welding head). The print or substrate plate is attached to the end effector of a robot. By manipulating the component in and around all spatial directions, the restriction-free construction is made possible.
To enable the manufacturing process, research is being conducted along the entire additive manufacturing process chain. Starting with the so-called slicing, which has to be adapted to the multidirectional requirements, to path planning, which allows an optimal execution by the robot, to trajectory planning and process execution.
The manufacturing processes are tested on test facilities of the IGMR for the multidirectional FDM pressure and at the Welding and Joining Institute at the RWTH Aachen for the multidirectional WAAM process.
Also in cooperation with the ISF, the DFG-funded research project "Kinematic weld pool control for additive production with high-performance materials in arc welding" is investigating the implementation of near-net-shape and thus resource-saving production of components made of high-performance materials.