Contribution Oral Presentation
User-Case: The long way from an innovative idea to a 3D-printed industrially applicable metal part
Creativity has no limits with 3D-printing of metals allowing the realisation of new geometries that cannot be provided by any other production method. Nevertheless, it is a long way from an innovative idea to a 3D-printing based production process. This presentation will introduce a successful user case, systematically from the first draft to an industrially useable part. Supported by the national research initiative “AM 4 Industry - quality assurance and cost models supporting the widespread use of additive manufacturing” (lead by EcoPlus, FOTEC Research GmbH) - the two industrial partners Franz Haas Waffelmaschinen and Hirtenberger Engineered Surfaces developed an industrial applicable part including sophisticated design features that can be realised by 3D-printing only. The part included complex inner channels with a high requirement on the surface quality. The aim was to create a production tool enabling a new product idea in food industry. Hirtisation® was chosen as post processing technology, since no mechanical or other classical post-treatment can remove inner support structures or reduce the high roughness of inner surfaces after printing. The two industrial partners analysed and adjusted each step of the process chain from the initial design to the finished and applicable part, starting from prototyping scale. The different steps of the production chain had to be fully understood and adjusted to the each other in order to guarantee a constant and reproducible quality of the final products at industrial scale. Among the different process steps, the post-processing of AM metal parts played a crucial part enabling the production of the freely designed product. The holistic approach within this project finally led to a successful implementation of a 3D-Printed part, leading to a product innovation in food industry.