Additive manufacturing technologies are currently a subject to ongoing development. They are used for a wide range of tasks from creation of concept and ergonomics models, via physical prototypes up to finished parts. In this way the manufacturing technologies support the product development process. Physical prototypes, as defined by the Association of German Engineers (VDI), are used in all phases of the product development process, starting in the early stages of the design and definition to final testing of physical prototypes (VDI 3404). These application areas reaffirm the importance of the physical prototypes in the development process and thus also their integration into the virtual product development.
This ongoing development results in a comprehensive examination of the processes from the research perspective. Therefore, the digital process chain including all relevant process steps is profoundly illuminated at the DiK. The process chain involves creating computer-based 3D-CAD models, preparation of the construction process, the physical construction process as well as the post-processing and the application of the component. Here the DiK works on solutions for the optimization and further development of additive manufacturing processes. The solutions particularly concern issues such as the development of new exchange formats for the generative manufacturing, integration of design guidelines into the virtual design process, optimization of the Nesting process and the knowledge return from the construction process and the use phase back into the virtual product development.
The prime objective of the DiK is to holistically optimize the depicted process chain for generative manufacturing and to integrate innovations into the process. In addition to an industrial generative manufacturing unit (Stratasys Dimension Elite / Fused Layer Modeling), there is a self-developed and constructed demonstrator in the form of a 3D desktop printer available for the implementation and validation of developed novel approaches.