Support-less, robot-based, additive manufacturing process

Free-D Printing technology offers a robot-based 3D printing process based on the fused layer modelling process. By guiding the process head with a six-axis industrial robot, the process head can be oriented in comparison to today’s additive manufacturing systems. This allows modeling with completely new modeling strategies that deviate from today’s modeling paradigm with planar and horizontally oriented layers.

Technology

New and innovative model building strategy enables modeling in additive manufacturing (3D printing) with free-form modeling layers for model building. For this purpose, a planning software is being developed that calculates the process paths in a manner comparable to conventional slicing programs, but taking into account the orientation of the process head by the robot that is possible with the system. With the development of appropriate modelling strategies it is possible to model components with overhangs, which can be produced without the otherwise necessary support structures. In addition, material can be applied to existing, free-formed surfaces and the direction of the strand can be influenced, for example to increase the strength of components.
The procedure offers the following essential advantages, which increase the chances of using additive manufacturing methods in industrial production processes:

  • Reduction of the planning process and construction time
  • Savings in production materials
  • No post-processing to remove the support structures
  • Adding material to existing surfaces
  • Influencing the strand direction for model building
  • Flexible and large installation space according to the working range of the robot

Trade Fair Presentations

Rapid.Tech 2018

Almost 5,000 guests came to Messe Erfurt to find out about innovations in industrial and creative 3D printing at Rapid.Tech in June 2018. Among the exhibitors was a stand from the Free-D Printing project of the Chair for Production Systems at the Ruhr University Bochum.

formnext 2018

During the four days of the fair, formnext 2018 was the guiding star of global additive manufacturing and modern production technologies. With 632 exhibitors from 32 nations, Formnext 2018 also registered a record result. A joint stand of Ruhrsource, ThinkIng and Free-D Printing, organized by the Wirtschaftsentwicklung Bochum, was part of the event.

formnext 2019

Also in 2019 Free-D Printing was represented at the world’s leading trade fair formnext from 19-22.11.2019 in Frankfurt am Main. The latest state of the art in robot-based additive manufacturing technology was presented. In interesting and detailed conversations contacts to application partners in different branches of industry could be established.

Awards

Inventor Award 2017

Three invention disclosures of the year 2016 were honoured at the Inventor Award Ceremony of the Ruhr University Bochum. Among them was the invention report “Supportless multi-axis extrusion process for additive production” by Benjamin Johnen, Michael Rieger and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Kuhlenkötter.

ERCIS Launch Pad 2017

At the 10th ERCIS Launch Pad, Free-D Printing won the prize for the business concept with the best scientific foundation, which was evaluated and awarded by researchers from WWU Münster together with the jury.

Team

Dipl.-Ing.
Michael Rieger

Founder’s Scholarship
at the Chair of Production Systems
of the Ruhr University Bochum
(+49)234-32 24568

Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Inf.
Benjamin Johnen

Founder’s Scholarship
at the Chair of Production Systems
of the Ruhr University Bochum
(+49)234-32 24592

B.Sc.
Lennard Rath

Founder’s Scholarship
at the Chair of Production Systems
of the Ruhr University Bochum
(+49)234-32 28088

Funding

Contact us

ADDRESS
RUHR UNIVERSITY BOCHUM
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Chair for Production Systems
Building IC 02/741
Universitätsstr. 150
44801 Bochum

E-MAIL
mail@freedprinting.de