Home Research & Education Bavaria-Austria research alliance to boost 3D printing expertise for SMEs

Bavaria-Austria research alliance to boost 3D printing expertise for SMEs

A new cross-border research project aims to better leverage the potential of additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, by creating an AM competence center between six Bavarian and Austrian universities.

The “ReBi” project, funded with €2.55 million from the EU, will run for three years. The goal is to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in introducing or advancing AM through process and product innovations.

Resource-efficient component innovations are key for sustainable use of resources in sectors like mobility, mechanical engineering, and energy technology. AM methods offer attractive options for highly complex, lightweight designs based on digital models and needing few production steps.

However, applying AM industrially is complex, requiring expertise across the entire process chain. SMEs often lack financial, technical or personnel resources to leverage AM more fully. This is where the competence center aims to provide support.

“By pooling specific competencies of the research partners and tackling current R&D tasks, companies are to benefit from the technical-scientific synergies,” explains Prof. Dr. Otto Huber of Landshut University of Applied Sciences, one of the Bavarian partners.

The focus will be on new design methods and optimized AM processes for resource-efficient metal 3D printing. Robust, reproducible and quality-assured manufacturing procedures for lightweight structures will be developed and transferred into product and process innovations at partner companies.

The consortium includes universities and research institutes from Bavaria and Austria. Each contributes specialized expertise, from steel alloys and tool steels to design, simulation and microstructure analysis.

At a recent meeting, companies like Datawin, Arri and Flottweg presented ideas on using AM to improve products and processes. By collaborating, they gain valuable AM knowledge and tap the diverse competencies within the alliance. Further industry feedback will shape the next steps in jointly advancing 3D printing expertise in the region.

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