Technology Project


Picture: ProAMM


Process chains for additive multi-material processes


Duration: 01.08.2019 - 31.07.2021

Current economic situation and challenge

The demand for function-integrated components made of plastics and metals with the aim of process monitoring, weight reduction and further minimization of process time continues to rise with increasing digitalization and higher competitive pressure. In addition, additive generative processes have so far enjoyed little acceptance in the traditional industrial environment due to the unpredictable component quality. This is where the project "Process Chains for Additive Multimaterial Processes" (ProAMM) is to make a contribution. The project is divided into two project strands. These are "Multi-material production in the powder bed (laser beam melting)" and "Multi-material production with Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)". Both processes will be combined with a paste printing process.

Scientific and technical work objectives

Figure 1 shows the overall project objective, which is described in more detail below.

Figure 1: Description of the overall objective of the project

Objectives "Multi-material production in the powder bed

• Evaluation of suitable copper pastes
• Implementation of the system technology and creation of the necessary software
• Integration of the sensor technology required for safe process control
• Powder bed based multi-material manufacturing process based on laser beam melting and dispensing
• Demonstration of feasibility by manufacturing tool inserts for injection moulding of steel and copper
• Testing of the tool inserts in an industrial environment and comparison with conventionally manufactured tool inserts

Goals "Multi-material production with Fused Filament Fabrication"

Evaluation of the process chain:
• Dispensing System Development or Selection
• Selection of a thermal post-process
• Evaluation of the process chain for inserting and connecting sensors

System adjustment:
• Extension of the FFF system by a dispensing unit
• Extension of the FFF plant by a thermal aftertreatment process

Process development:
• Development of a connection strategy to injection moulding components
• Development of a dispensing process for FFF printing
• Development of a thermal post-treatment process for the paste system
• Development of the combination of dispensing process and thermal post-treatment
• Scenario 1: Integration of commercialized sensors: in concrete terms, a temperature and humidity sensor is to be integrated in a car fitting in the visible range
• Scenario 2: Embedding sensors manufactured in the process

Demonstrator production and testing:
• Manufacturing of the demonstrator with the extended process chain
• Investigation of different finishing strategies for the component surface
• Functional testing of the embedded sensors in cooperation with partner VW

First results and concepts


In the following, the development strand "multi-material production in the powder bed" is considered. First of all, the process chain is shown here:


Figure 2: Process chain "Multimaterial in powder bed"

In the following, the development line "multi-material production with fused filament fabrication" is considered. The process chain is also described here:


Figure 3: Development line "Multi-material production with Fused Filament Fabrication

Development of process management


In this work package the printing process with a mechanical dispenser has been investigated so far. For this purpose, a first quadratic model with the target values of layer thickness and homogeneity was developed with the help of statistical experimental design.

Demonstrator production


In the first development phase, a tool insert with improved heat dissipation is to be developed as a demonstrator. The tool insert is shown in figure 4


Figure 4: Initial tool insert with previous water cooling


Based on this, a copper core was added to the tool insert for additive multi-material production (see Figure 5).


Figure 5: Tool inserts with copper core