Additive Manufacturing

Through the increasing digitization of production, the rising cost pressure, the advantage of tool-less production, the high degree of design opportunities and an increasing need for customization, additive manufacturing of products becomes an important competitive factor. The resulting potentials for the design of additively manufactured products have not yet been exploited systematically, particularly in finding a solution in the concept stage of the product development process.

The additive manufacturing processes are used to produce products based on 3D digital design data. In contrast to conventional methods, the final geometry is not achieved by removing material, but by adding material layer by layer. Originally, the additive manufacturing was used for the production of prototypes (rapid prototyping), today the properties of additively manufactured products are sufficient to produce tools (Rapid Tooling) and even finished products (Rapid Manufacturing). The additive manufacturing processes thus have the potential to reduce the manufacturing time and cost of a component while ensuring high customizability. To successfully design products for additive manufacturing the designer needs a different mindset in relation to the classical approach. The designer has to think additive to use the specific strengths of the manufacturing process over conventional methods.


The central objective of the work group for additive manufacturing is the development of a methodical support for the designer, which is tailored to project-specific requirements, in order to utilize the potential of additive manufacturing already in the concept phase of product development. This is to enable the designers to think additively and make extensive use of the process-related advantages in order to be able to counter the higher manufacturing costs of the additive manufacturing with a significantly higher added value through higher functional products.

Research approach

The research approach is about the development of design guidelines as well as partial solutions that are intended as ideas for existing development and design tasks.

In this context, on the one hand, systematic property analyzes are carried out on fabricated prototypes in order to identify weak points and derive error avoidance strategies. On the other hand, prototypical additive manufacturing processes are developed to identify process-related advantages and to be able to use them in the context of design notes.

Research projects

  • Design for Additive Manufacturing
  • Use of thread-forming screws in additively manufactured components


The topic Design for Additive Manufacturing will be dealt with in the lecture Introduction in 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing. Furthermore, there is a cross-departmental tutorial in planning.


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