News and Media

futureAM Lighthouse Project

Next Generation Additive Manufacturing

Project term:
From 2017-7-1 to 2020-6-30

On this page you find news about the futureAM Lighthouse Project and downloads.


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  • In the scope of the Fraunhofer lighthouse project futureAM, scientists from Fraunhofer ILT have developed an enhanced processing strategy for Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF). A multi-scanner processing head with five laser-scanner-systems was integrated into Fraunhofer ILT’s prototype LPBF machine with a maximum build envelope of 1000 mm x 800 mm x 500 mm. In order to increase the system’s productivity, a synchronized movement of the galvanometer scanners and the linear axis system was realized enabling on-the-fly processing.

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  • Digitally united: In the futureAM project, the Virtual Lab serves as a digital bracket for all four fields of activity.
    © Fraunhofer IAPT, Hamburg, Germany.

    In the Fraunhofer lighthouse project “futureAM – Next Generation Additive Manufacturing,” an alliance of six Fraunhofer institutes shall accelerate 3D printing with metal powder by at least a factor of ten. The first tangible results prove that this is not a dream of the future. The futureAM team will be presenting these results at the joint Fraunhofer booth D51 in Hall 11 during formnext from November 19 to 22, 2019 in Frankfurt am Main.

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  • Additive machines discover superalloys

    Press Release / 17.5.2019

    By means of laser powder build-up welding, components made of different materials can be integrally manufactured. Thus, specific materials can be placed exactly where their properties are required. This offers, for example, the prospect of lighter, better and cost-reduced blades for gas turbines.
    © Fraunhofer IWS, Dresden, Germany.

    Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden have developed innovative methods enabling more materials to be processed in additive manufacturing than ever before. For example, additive manufacturing systems could facilitate better future aircraft engines with lower fuel consumption. However, engineers must first improve the current industrial 3D printers in such a way that these machines can also process very strong and extremely heat-resistant alloys. Here, the Dresden researchers rely on their profound experience with laser powder buildup welding technologies and employ artificial intelligence (AI). They contribute their profound materials expertise to the Fraunhofer joint project “futureAM”. The aim of the partners is to speed up additive manufacturing systems for metal components by a factor ten and also to manage superalloys.

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  • In the scope of the Fraunhofer lighthouse project futureAM, Scientists from Fraunhofer ILT have developed a scalable machine concept for Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) of large metal components. A new mobile processing laser head is used in this system, which also offers a very large, effectively usable build volume (1000 mm x 800 mm x 500 mm). Thus, productivity can be increased by a factor of 10 compared to conventional LPBF systems. The video shows excerpts from an LPBF process in the new system.

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  • Scientists from Fraunhofer ILT have developed a new processing head for Laser Powder Bed Fusion LPBF, which also generates large metal components additively up to ten times faster than conventional LPBF systems.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The future of 3D printing will be the focus at formnext 2018 in Frankfurt am Main. For this, the Fraunhofer Lighthouse Project futureAM offers particularly exciting insights, a project in which six Fraunhofer institutes are involved. The partners are doing both, comprehensively looking at digital and physical added value right from the order to the finished component; and at the leap into a new technology generation of additive manufacturing.

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  • Lecture by Prof. Schleifenbaum from the Fraunhofer ILT at IMTS 2018 on the subject “Digital Photonic Production”.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    At the IMTS – International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago from September 10 to 15, 2018, visitors at the Fraunhofer joint booth were able to find out more about the Fraunhofer lighthouse project futureAM. Professor Johannes Schleifenbaum from Fraunhofer ILT also gave a lecture on "Digital Photonic Production - Perspectives on Tomorrow's World of Individualized & Smart Industrial Products".

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  • Image 1: Partners from industry and science met on Nov. 14, 2017 for the kick-off of the Fraunhofer futureAM lighthouse project in Aachen.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany / Andreas Steindl.

    On November 14th, 2017, the Fraunhofer lighthouse project, futureAM, was launched in Aachen under the auspices of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT. Six project partners – the Fraunhofer Institutes ILT, IWS, IWU, IGD and IFAM as well as the LZN Laser Zentrum Nord – have set themselves a clear goal: Over the next three years, they will work closely together to secure the prerequisites for significant technological leaps in additive manufacturing with metallic materials (metal AM).

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