Technical University of Munich: Cutting-edge research on additive manufacturing technologies

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Swiss technology group Oerlikon are joining forces to drive progress in additive manufacturing technologies. They have founded the TUM-Oerlikon Advanced Manufacturing Institute with the objective of mastering technical challenges on the road to industrializing those technologies.

The Institute, located at the TUM Garching campus, will receive three million euros in annual funding for an initial period of five years. The TUM researchers and the scientific team from Oerlikon Additive Manufacturing will work together closely here. As many as 30 doctoral dissertations are to be supervised over the next five years. The dissertations will investigate technical questions along the entire value creation chain, including for example the development of custom-tailored new materials as well as research on printing methods, process-material interaction and the entire additive manufacturing process.

Globally visible center for additive manufacturing technologies
TUM President Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann says: “Together with Oerlikon we want to turn Munich into a center for additive manufacturing technologies, visible worldwide. The partnership ideally complements our “Industry on Campus” strategy for intensifying the practical interconnections between science and application and will make decisive contributions to the industrialization of additive manufacturing technologies.”

Dr. Sven Hicken, head of the Oerlikon Business Unit AM, adds: “In the interest of leveraging synergies in our collaboration with the university, we have decided to relocate the headquarters of our Business Unit together with our own research department from Feldkirchen to Garching. This will benefit both partners: The doctoral candidates will be able to use our hardware, for example our 3D printers and laboratories, and we will be in close proximity to the research activities of this University of Excellence.”

Prof. Dr. Nikolaus A. Adams, TUM Chair of Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics , which is responsible for the Institute, outlines the key areas which the projects will address: “Our research will focus primarily overcoming on technical obstacles in order to accelerate the development of metal 3D printing. Thus for example we are already working together on new highly stable lightweight alloys based on aluminum, which are in high demand in industry; we are also collaborating on demanding new simulation methods to predict metal powder melting and solidification processes as well as on the development of a digital process for certifying components for the aeronautics industry that have been produced using Advanced Manufacturing.”

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