NextGenAM – A pilot project for automated metallic AM

A promising vision in May 2017 has now reached a successful conclusion: the project “NextGenAM” will work on the development of a pilot production line for a next-generation automated “Additive Manufacturing” process for partners Premium AEROTEC, EOS, and Daimler.

The aim of the pilot project was to develop a digitalized next-generation manufacturing line which would be able to produce aluminum components for the automotive and aerospace sectors significantly more cost-effectively than is currently possible. The successful outcome of NextGenAM: in terms of the overall production process at Premium AEROTEC, manufacturing costs could be reduced by up to 50% compared with existing 3D printing systems.

The secret lies in an ingenious and scalable additive production chain, which is fully automated right through to the point where the printed parts are mechanically sawn off the build platform. This means that no manual work is now required at any stage of the process, from the data preparation and central powder supply through to the AM build process itself and including heat treatment, quality assurance and separation of the components from the build platform.