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11-29-2016

IKV Launches Additive Manufacturing Study

The Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) in Industry and the Skilled Crafts at RWTH Aachen University, Germany, is inviting companies from the entire plastics value chain to participate in a study entitled "Product development in plastics additive manufacturing".

Component made of thermoplastic elastomer produced via additive manufacturing (© IKV/Fröls)

Additive manufacturing is currently one of the major trends in the plastics industry and will continue to experience enormous growth in the future. While many production plants and processes are close to maturity for use in industrial series production, the methods nowadays deployed for product development still fail to make use of the many opportunities and possibilities offered by additive manufacturing. Conventional design approaches simply do not exhaust the potential of the virtually unlimited geometric freedom.

Rethinking the entire design and development methodology is therefore necessary to exhaust the technological potential with regard to part design and process properties in the best possible way. The aim is for automated 1:1 product development. In order to set this rethinking in motion, IKV will launch, in March 2017, a strategic market and technology study on product development for additive manufacturing. Together with industrial partners, IKV is aiming with this study to identify present and future challenges, define development targets and draw up a strategic roadmap.

In detailed analyses, the focus will be on material properties, modelling approaches, design rules and automation potential in the product development process. It will look, on the one hand, at the development of additively manufactured prototypes and technical end-components of plastic and, on the other, at additively manufactured tools for the processing of plastics using traditional processing techniques.

The study, which will run for twelve months, will actively involve players from the entire value chain of the plastics industry. In prioritisation and milestone workshops, targets will be defined with the partners and the results discussed with regard to a specific implementation perspective in the companies. The joint market and technology study "Product development in plastics additive manufacturing" is open to all companies along the entire plastics value chain interested in the use of additive manufacturing processes.

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