Innovative Applications

Additive Manufacturing allows for numerous new applications, which benefit from the geometric flexibility and the capability to manufacture complex structures at no or marginal additional costs. Manufacturing costs are mainly driven by part volume, not by the number and geometry of part features.

A number of innovative applications is already known, conformal cooling in tool and die making, dental replacement devices adapted to the patient individual geometry, medical implants such as artificial hip and knee joints, brackets for bone repair, but also light weight tools and light weight structures that are too expensive to manufacture with conventional technologies. An example for the latter are honeycomb structures known from biology.

Many efforts have been undertaken to process more than one material in one working chamber of the machine leading to for example integrated structures with a layer of coating material. An idea to benefit from multi material processing is to manufacture support structures out of dissolvable materials and to remove these supports by using acid instead of using a machining process. This can help to make Additive Manufacturing more economically efficient.

This mini-symposium is meant to bring applications of this nature together and to foster the exchange of thoughts among design-oriented researchers in the field of AM. A new way of thinking product design needs to be inspired.