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NextGenAM pilot project for automated metallic 3D printing proves a success

What began as 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 joint project between Premium AEROTEC, EOS and Daimler demonstrates huge potential for the production of replacement parts and series-production components.

The 3D printing process, also known as “Additive Manufacturing”, has become more and more interesting as a complementary or alternative process to conventional manufacturing techniques. The technology is described as “additive” because of the way in which the process involves the application of layer after layer of thin material, which is then hardened by an energy source. Along with plastics and ceramics, it is also possible to produce metal components in a 3D printing process.

The aim of the pilot project was to develop a digitalised next-generation manufacturing line which would be able to produce aluminium 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.

“As far as the aircraft industry is concerned, Premium AEROTEC is today already an international pioneer in the field of metallic 3D printing. The aim now is to build further on this expertise and to bring it to bear in other sectors as well,” said Dr Thomas Ehm, Chairman of the Executive Board of Premium AEROTEC.

“The successful conclusion of NextGenAM thus represents another important building block in our strategy.”