Additive manufacturing meeting
May 2022 - Additive manufacturing still represents new territory for many companies. To introduce it, a workshop was held at PTZ-Prototypenzentrum. The IHK and 3D Building e.V. had invited the participants.
What is additive manufacturing?
Most people are familiar with the term 3D printing. For a deeper insight, Dr. Lopez (Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology, Dresden) presented the diversity behind the term additive manufacturing. Powder bed processes such as selective laser sintering and laser melting were presented as well as lesser known processes e.g. Digital Light Processing (DLP) or buildup welding. Most of the processes involve the production of plastic or metal. But exotic materials such as ceramics, silicone or glass can also be processed.
Focus on metal and plastics
The working world of PTZ was presented in another lecture. The range of services mainly includes plastics and metals. Using numerous sample parts, the participants were able to see directly what the results of the various processes are. The lecture was only a prelude, because the world of additive manufacturing became really impressive during the tour of the company.
Casting processes unthinkable without 3D printing
The tour also gave impressions of the various casting processes at PTZ. Although the processes do not count as additive manufacturing processes, the process chain has long been firmly linked to processes from 3D printing. Stereolithography printed parts are a major focus of sales. However, these parts do not leave the building. They are established as patterns for making impressions. These molds are made from silicone, something most attendees had not seen before.
Making metal parts differently
While at PTZ the metal parts are mainly produced by the powder bed process, another possibility was shown in the presentation of ALOtec Dresden GmbH. A laser is used to melt a metal powder or wire. A robot arm positions the material nozzle so that material can be applied locally to components. Geometry changes, repairs or new parts can be realized in this way.
In the 1996 founded PTZ Prototypenzentrum GmbH 17 employees use the most modern technologies to produce models, tools and small series for German and European customers including the automotive industry, the medical and equipment technology. Brand manufacturers such as Siemens, Bosch, Miele, Fresenius and Ducati as well as many small and medium enterprises appreciate the variety of technologies at PTZ.