Additive Manufacturing as a development method

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Recently the VDMA (German Additive Manufacturing Association) spoke with Dr Rinje Brandis from Krause DiMaTec GmbH, a young company with a dozen employees that belongs to the Horstmann Group.

The Horstmann Group has several affiliated companies in five different industry sectors, employs a total of about  1.100 persons, and puts a strong focus on mechanical engineering. Krause DiMaTec GmbH originally emerged from the Horstmann Group’s own needs, however today, about 75 % of the volume of orders account for external customers.

Dr Rinje Brandis
Dr Rinje Brandis

“We regard AM not so much as a manufacturing technology but rather a development method.”

Krause DiMaTec walk their customers through the whole process of additive manufacturing development, from conceptual design and construction to the production of ready-to-install components. The company covers the whole product development in additive manufacturing, starting with ideas, conceptual designs, workshops, and training. They provide a basic introduction for companies that have no or only little experience with AM, and also offer development and construction of components and assembly groups which are produced ‘ready-to-install’ according to mechanical engineering standards.

Materials and technologies

Regarding materials and technologies, Krause DiMaTec have laser melting systems for additive processing of metals in-house. “Industrial customers mostly ask for stainless steel, tool steel, and aluminium,” Dr Brandis explains. In addition, the company operate systems that process standard plastics through fused deposition molding (FDM), and through their partner network, they also cover laser sintering and stereolithography. For each case, customers are advised as to which materials and technologies would suit their purposes.

Krause DiMaTec recently joined the VDMA because there are many topics that only a community can solve, such as standardization, or interfaces for process chains. It allows for bringing up perspectives, naming needs, and contributing to discussions. Sharing challenges in order to develop solutions together is also something Krause DiMaTec stimulates for their customers. “We regard AM not so much as a manufacturing technology but rather a development method,” says Dr Brandis. “Ideally, customers would not come to us with finished 3D data but instead with the presentation of a problem, so that we can develop together solutions to be manufactured additively.”