Direct manufacturing is primarily being used for prototyping and has not yet gained widespread use in series production. To change that and advance technological progress, a centre dedicated to the development of direct manufacturing processes and systems will open in Germany in the fall of this year.
Boeing, EOS Electro Optical Systems, Evonik Industries, and MCP HEK Tooling will join forces to form the Direct Manufacturing Research Center (DMRC) in cooperation with the University of Paderborn. The industrial sector will contribute its expertise in aerospace, material production, and equipment manufacturing to the centre, while the university will provide its competency in mechanical engineering, chemistry, and computer science.
“The objective of the DMRC is to further the processes, better understand the current equipment limits, develop systems and processes, and expand the equipment possibilities,” says Hans-Joachim Schmid, professor for particle technology and principal investigator at DMRC, University of Paderborn.
Initially, research will largely focus on the aviation industry, but according to Schmid, the DMRC will certainly be an alternative manufacturing method for medical devices in the future. “Progress in this technology will open up far-reaching possibilities,” he adds. “Small series can be produced at a much lower cost when using direct manufacturing procedures. Even customized individual work pieces can easily be manufactured via a digital dataset.” Martina Methner, marketing communications specialist at EOS adds that in medical technology, layer manufacturing techniques are especially suitable for the production of individual products with complex geometries, or for products that need to be readily available. Dental prostheses, implants, and medical devices or components are some examples.