A revolution in industrial production – research project AGENT-3D_Basis: framework conditions for generative manufacturing kick-off event
The digitalization is steadily altering society. Industrial production processes are undergoing a particularly profound change – computer-controlled 3D printing is currently revolutionizing manufacturing. So-called additive-generative manufacturing (AGF) can rapidly produce individual components for further industrial processing with a fraction of the material resources. On the initiative of Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), research institutes and businesses formed the “AGENT-3D” alliance in 2014 in order to establish the powerful 3D technology as a key industrial production technology in this country. The network consists of 45 businesses and twelve research institutions that are working on achieving competitive advantages for companies. Led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS Dresden, the AGENT-3D alliance is coordinating a project of the same name: “AGENT-3D: additive-generative manufacturing – printing new worlds”.
This has in turn led to the establishment of the new project consortium “AGENT-3D_Basis”. The research project intends to examine the framework conditions for the further development and implementation of additive-generative manufacturing, and to investigate how it could become a key technology in Germany. The consortium will academically support the future “AGENT-3D” strategy process over the next three years. The participation of the Leipzig Fraunhofer Center experts in this collaborative project involves the management of a project package. Within the scope of an “AGENT-3D_Basis” work package, a team of researchers headed by Annamaria Riemer is investigating the impact that socio-economic factors might have on the development potential of additive-generative manufacturing, and the paths that it might follow in future.
On January 11, 2016, the project team came together at the Fraunhofer IWS Dresden for the kick-off meeting. The project work addresses five topics – including new 3D printing techniques for design and construction purposes and the possibilities for standardization. “At the meeting, we discussed the role that social and economic factors play alongside the technical factors, and how these can be examined and than integrated into future scenarios,” explains Annamaria Riemer, the work package “AGENT-3D_Basis” project manager and the deputy head of the Unit Professionalizing Transfer Processes at the Leipzig Frauhofer Centera Leipzig Fraunhofer Center division.
Besides the Fraunhofer IWS, which coordinates the project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK are also involved in “AGENT-3D_Basis”; the technical universities in Dresden and Berlin are also on board. The project is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the scope of the “Zwanzig20 – Partnerschaft für Innovation” innovation sponsoring program; the funding period runs from December 1, 2015, to the end of November 2018.